Hypertension guideline adherence among nursing home patients

Paul E. Drawz, Cristina Bocirnea, Katarina B. Greer, Julian Kim, Florian Rader, Patrick Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Adherence to hypertension guidelines in the outpatient setting is low. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate adherence to JNC VII guidelines in nursing home patients. DESIGN: Data were obtained from the 2004 National Nursing Home Survey (NNHS), a nationally representative sample of US nursing homes. Patients with hypertension were identified using ICD-9 codes. Adherence to JNC VII guidelines was defined as the use of a thiazide diuretic in patients without a compelling indication for a different class of antihypertensive medication, such as diabetes, chronic kidney disease, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, or a history of stroke. PARTICIPANTS: There were 13,507 patients in the 2004 NNHS survey, of whom 7,129 had hypertension. MAIN RESULTS: Of these 7,129 hypertensive patients, only 12.6% were on a thiazide. Out of the 7,129 hypertensive patients, 3,113 did not have diabetes, chronic kidney disease, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, or a history of stroke. Of these 3,113 patients, only 13.9% were on a thiazide. After excluding patients with a potential contraindication to a diuretic, such as hospice care or incontinence, only 18% were prescribed a thiazide. Of the 3,113 patients, 1,148 were on a single class of antihypertensive and more were prescribed a beta blocker, ACE inhibitor, calcium channel blocker, loop diuretic, and ARB than a thiazide diuretic. CONCLUSIONS: Adherence to hypertension guidelines among nursing home patients is low. The appropriate use of thiazide diuretics could reduce costs and improve blood pressure control and patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)499-503
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of general internal medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Author Contributions: Study concept and design: Drawz, Bocir-nea, Greer, Kim, Rader, Murray Acquisition of data: publicly available data Analysis and interpretation of data: Drawz, Bocirnea, Greer, Kim, Rader, Murray Preparation of manuscript: Drawz Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: Drawz, Bocirnea, Greer, Kim, Rader, Murray Study supervision: Murray Funding: The study was funded in part through NIH training grant 5T32DK007470-23 (P.E.D.) and NIH award K23 CA109115-01A2 (J. A.K.). The data have not been previously presented.


  • Guideline adherence
  • Hypertension
  • Nursing homes


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