Characteristics of hypertensive Canadians not receiving drug therapy

Norman R.C. Campbell, Lawrence So, Ernest Amankwah, Hude Quan, Colleen Maxwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Many Canadians known to have hypertension remain untreated. To aid in the development of specific programs to improve hypertension management, the present report characterizes Canadians who indicated that they had hypertension but were not taking antihypertensive drug therapy. Methods: The 2005 Canadian Community Health Survey (cycle 3.1) was used to estimate the proportion of Canadians 20 years of age and older who reported having high blood pressure or ever being diagnosed with high blood pressure. Sociodemographic characteristics, reported health, lifestyle factors and health care resource use of those who reported taking or not taking high blood pressure medication in the previous month were described and compared. Results: Over one-half of hypertensive respondents 20 to 39 years of age reported no antihypertensive treatment compared with 17% and 5% among those 40 to 59 years and 60 years of age and older, respectively. In most age groups, several factors were associated with the absence of pharmacotherapy (eg, male sex, fewer health care professional consultations, perceived excellent health status and most markers of lower cardiovascular risk, with the exception of daily smoking). The proportion of young hypertensive Canadians not receiving pharmacotherapy remained consistent, regardless of the presence of cardiovascular risk factors. Conclusions: Many hypertensive Canadians, particularly those who are younger than 60 years of age, are not taking antihypertensive drug therapy despite having one or more cardiovascular risks. The increased risk of no drug therapy among smokers warrants special attention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)485-490
Number of pages6
JournalCanadian Journal of Cardiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Antihypertensive drugs
  • Health survey
  • Increased risk
  • Patient education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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