Youth Often Get Hypertension Rx From PCPs Who Treat Adults

Whites, older adolescents, and those with comorbidity more likely to receive prescription

MONDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly two-thirds of adolescents with primary hypertension who receive antihypertensive medication prescriptions get them from adult primary care physicians (PCPs), according to a study published online Dec. 5 in Pediatrics.

Esther Y. Yoon, M.D., M.P.H., from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues investigated the prescription patterns of antihypertensive pharmacotherapy for primary hypertension in adolescents, including the antihypertensive drug class prescribed and the specialty of the prescribing physician. Patient demographics and the presence of obesity-related comorbidities were examined. Adolescents with primary hypertension were identified by International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes.

The investigators identified 4,296 adolescents with primary hypertension during 2003 to 2008. Of these, 66 percent were boys; 73 percent were aged 11 to 14 years; 48 percent had obesity-related comorbidity; and 53, 41, and 4 percent were blacks, whites, and Hispanics, respectively. Twenty three percent of adolescents with primary hypertension received antihypertensive prescriptions. After controlling for gender, and years of Medicaid eligibility, antihypertensive prescriptions were more likely to be received by whites, older adolescents (≥15 years), and those with comorbidity (odds ratios, 1.61, 2.11, and 1.57, respectively). Prescriptions were received from adult PCPs by nearly two-thirds of adolescents. Of the adolescents who received prescriptions, more than one-quarter received combination therapy, which was prescribed most often by adult PCPs.

"Adult PCPs were leading prescribers of antihypertensive medications for adolescents with primary hypertension," the authors write.

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