A new CDC report reveals that some seven out of ten older adults have high blood pressure. And, half of them do not have their blood pressure under control. Five million older adults are not complying with their Medicare Part D blood pressure prescriptions. The risks of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and early death are serious.
Taking blood pressure drugs as directed is important to protect the heart, brain and kidneys. But, according to the CDC, one in four older adults with Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage are not doing so. Some are skipping doses. Others are not taking them at all. Underuse of drugs is associated with higher risk of death and health complications.
There are many reasons people do not comply with their blood pressure treatment regimens, including high cost, failure to fill prescriptions, assumption that they don’t need to because they don’t experience symptoms, side effects, forgetfulness and complexity.
The CDC found that four in ten older Native Americans did not take blood pressure drugs as prescribed, and almost as many African Americans (35 percent) and Hispanics (34 percent).
The CDC is encouraging people to use blood pressure monitors at home to track their blood pressure. (Just Care offers these ten tips for taking your blood pressure at home.) The CDC also suggests people take their medications while doing other routine activities such as brushing their teeth, as a way to better ensure medication compliance. Weekly pill boxes and apps also can be used as reminders of when to take medicine.
Here’s more from Just Care:
- Heart health and cardiovascular disease
- Medicare covers cardiovascular screenings and other preventive care
- Online pharmacies can be safe and save you money
- Four questions to ask yourself about your primary care doctor
- The fundamental difference between traditional Medicare and a Medicare Advantage plan