Background The aim of this study was to assess whether arthritis is associated with lower antihypertensive medication (AHM) use among those with hypertension and whether this relationship differs by age or cardiovascular (CV) comorbidity. Methods The data were from the 2017 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. We employed survey weights to account for the complex sampling design and nonresponse bias. We used generalized linear models to estimate unadjusted and adjusted prevalence ratios (PRs) and 95% confidence intervals comparing AHM use among those with severe or mild arthritis to those without arthritis, stratified by age, sex, and CV comorbidity. Results Among 173,098 adults with hypertension, 26.0% had severe arthritis and 22.3% had mild arthritis. Compared with those without arthritis, individuals with mild or severe arthritis were older, predominantly female, with lower income and more comorbidities. After adjustment for sex, race, inability to afford medications, and CV comorbidity, the prevalence ratios for AHM use were stronger for younger versus older age groups. Associations did not differ significantly by sex or CV comorbidity. Associations were similar for mild and severe arthritis, compared with no arthritis. Conclusions Among individuals with hypertension, those with arthritis had significantly higher prevalences of AHM use compared with those without arthritis. Higher prevalences of AHM use were seen with older age categories, although a stronger association of arthritis and AHM use was found in younger age groups. Future studies on hypertension management in arthritis should examine these relationships more closely.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
J.W.L. and C.A.C. are supported by NIH T32 training grants through the University of Washington.
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