Improving hypertension control in Australia

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Hypertension, affecting 6 million Australians, is the largest contributor to cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. In addition to lifestyle adjustments, effective anti-hypertensive therapy is available to manage hypertension, but adherence to such medications has been identified as an ongoing problem. The objective of this mixed methods study is to inform the design of cost-effective interventions for improving adherence to anti-hypertensive therapy.

Methods include: 1) cross-sectional analysis of data from the National Prescribing Service MedicineInsight database, containing de-identified electronic medical records of patients attending general practices across Australia; 2) development of a costing model to estimate the cost of uncontrolled hypertension, the effects of improving medication adherence, and populations in which interventions would be cost-effective; and 3) a scoping review of interventions using behavioural economic concepts to improve medication adherence in patients with chronic conditions.

Lessons Learned
The review highlighted the importance of targeting non-adherent patients, understanding their reasons for non-adherence, providing reminders and feedback to patients and physicians. The database analysis identified hypertension prevalence of 29% in patients attending general practice, of which 49% were uncontrolled. Uncontrolled hypertension was more frequent in those prescribed four or more classes of drugs. The cost analysis demonstrated important health benefits and cost savings associated with improved adherence, supporting the potential value of targeted efforts to improve adherence.

Cardiovascular disease places a significant burden on the Australian health system. Finding costeffectiveness interventions, targeted at populations at risk of uncontrolled hypertension, has the potential of reducing costs and improving the lives of Australians.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019
Event11th Health Services and Policy Research Conference: Addressing Health Service Inequities to Improve Health System Performance - Pullman Hotel, Auckland, New Zealand
Duration: 4 Dec 20196 Dec 2019


Conference11th Health Services and Policy Research Conference
Country/TerritoryNew Zealand


  • Hypertension
  • Anti-hypertensive drugs
  • Anti-hypertensive therapy


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