Effect of race and ethnicity on antihypertensive medication utilization among women in the United States: Study of Women'S Health Across the Nation (SWAN)

Academic Article


  • Background-Antihypertensive medication use may vary by race and ethnicity. Longitudinal antihypertensive medication use patterns are not well described in women. Methods and Results-Participants from the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN), a prospective cohort of women (n = 3302, aged 42-52), who reported a diagnosis of hypertension or antihypertensive medication use at any annual visit were included. Antihypertensive medications were grouped by class and examined by race/ethnicity adjusting for potential confounders in logistic regression models. A total of 1707 (51.7%) women, mean age 50.6 years, reported hypertension or used antihypertensive medications at baseline or during follow-up (mean 9.1 years). Compared with whites, blacks were almost 3 times as likely to receive a calcium channel blocker (odds ratio, 2.92; 95% CI, 2.24-3.82) and twice as likely to receive a thiazide diuretic (odds ratio, 2.38; 95% CI, 1.93-2.94). Blacks also had a higher probability of reporting use of ≥ 2 antihypertensive medications (odds ratio, 1.95; 95% CI, 1.55-2.45) compared with whites. Use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin receptor blockers and thiazide diuretics increased over time for all racial/ethnic groups. Contrary to our hypothesis, rates of b-blocker usage did not decrease over time. Conclusions-Among this large cohort of multiethnic midlife women, use of antihypertensive medications increased over time, with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin receptor blockers becoming the most commonly used antihypertensive medication, even for blacks. Thiazide diuretic utilization increased over time for all race/ethnic groups as did use of calcium channel blockers among blacks; both patterns are in line with guideline recommendations for the management of hypertension.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 9092533
  • Author List

  • Jackson EA; Ruppert K; Derby CA; Lian Y; Neal-Perry G; Habel LA; Tepper PG; Harlow SD; Solomon DH
  • Volume

  • 6
  • Issue

  • 3