Nearly half of Australians with high blood pressure are not taking anti-hypertensive medication
Nearly half of Australians with high blood pressure are not taking anti-hypertensive medication, increasing their risk of a cardiovascular event.
The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that 2.7 million, or 44%, of people with hypertension are not currently using medication.
“Although we now have the tools to achieve optimal levels of blood pressure in most people, we achieve nothing like that at the community level,” Heart Foundation chief medical advisor Professor Garry Jennings said.
“And there is no evidence that this has shifted in recent decades.”
In addition, of the 3.3 million Australians who have been prescribed medication, more than two in five (or 1.4 million) still have hypertension.
“At the health system level, our processes do not pick up enough people who have hypertension and when we do, we do not act on it sufficiently in many cases,” Professor Jennings said.
The Heart Foundation’s latest guidelines, released last year, have been recommended for approval as an Accepted Clinical Resource by the RACGP.
“There is no one-size-fits-all approach when managing hypertension, but these guidelines will help clinicians address some of the variables each individual patient provides,” Professor Jennings said.
Hypertension affects around six million, or one-third, of Australian adults. The condition is more common as one ages, affecting eight in 10 people aged 75 and over.