Quality of Life and Antihypertensive Drug Therapy

Joel Handler, MD

In This Article

Therapeutic Inertia

Doctors may start hypertensive patients on medications, but they are not very good at increasing dosages or adding drugs.[45] Figure 11 illustrates the frequency of increasing or changing therapy at various levels of BP in a chart review survey. Even at SBP levels of greater than 160-170 mm Hg, therapy was changed less than 50% of the time. Part of this lack of response may relate to concerns about side effects and adversely affecting the QOL of patients.

Therapeutic inertia by physicians caring for patients with hypertension according to a chart survey of 681 patients age 45-84 years with 3347 physician encounters. Reprinted with permission from Am J Manag Care. 2004;10:481-486.[45]