This site is intended for health professionals only

Angiotensin-receptor blockers ‘have best level of adherence’

By Christian Duffin

Patients are more likely to continue to take angiotensin-receptor blockers compared with other classes of blood pressure drugs, according to the findings of a meta-analysis by US researchers.

The 17-study meta-analysis involved 935,920 patients with a mean age of 61.7 years, who were prescribed either angiontensin receptor blockers, ACE inhibitors, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, or diuretics to treat pre-existing hypertension.

Mean adherence to prescribed antihypertensives varied from 28% for beta blockers to 65% for ARBs.

Patient adherence was greatest for ARBs, with rates 33% and 57% higher for this class than for ACE inhibitors and CCBs, respectively. Adherence was 95% higher in patients on ARBs than patients on diuretics, and more than twice as likely as patients on beta-blockers, with a hazard ratio of 2.09.

But the researchers said that ‘insufficient data were available for definitive rankings.'

Study leader Dr Ian Kronish, assistant professor of medicine at Mount Sinai medical center in New York, concluded: ‘Overall, ACE inhibitors appeared to have the second-best level of adherence, followed by CCBs. It is important for clinicians to pay attention to adherence regardless of antihypertensive drug class.'

Circulation 2011; 123: 15841586

ARBs appeared to have the best level of adherence, followed by CCBs Pulse CPD

Click here to take our CPD module on antihypertensive prescribing in the elderly