Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Topic Discussion: As needed anti HTN meds in the hospital- can we stop the madness?


We often see in the hospital, BP is treated as needed. Often, as nephrologists we have suggested to NOT do this. Outpatient problem that exists for years cannot be corrected in 2 hours by hydralazine or beta blockers so that the "vitals" look good and " numbers" are good for rounds. A recent study published in Hypertension nicely showcases this via a retrospective propensity matched protocol. When compared to scheduled BP meds patients to Scheduled meds and PRN patients ( over 4000 each), risk of AKI, stroke and mortality was higher in the as needed group. In addition, length of stay was higher as well. 

This comes following another recent article in JAMA looking at a similar concept. Among 22,000+ patients studied in hospitals with non cardiac diagnosis, hypertension was treated as needed in several patients.  In a propensity-matched sample controlling for patient and BP characteristics, treated patients had higher rates of subsequent acute kidney injury (466 of 4520 [10.3%] vs 357 of 4520 [7.9%]; P < .001) and myocardial injury (53 of 4520 [1.2%] vs 26 of 4520 [0.6%]; P = .003). There was no BP interval in which treated patients had better outcomes than untreated patients. A total of 1645 of 17 821 patients (9%) with hypertension were discharged with an intensified antihypertensive regimen. Treating with intensification of anti HTN meds without signs of end organ damage lead to worse outcomes.

Finally, another study in 2019 in JAMA found that among older adults hospitalized for noncardiac conditions, prescription of intensified anti-hypertensives at discharge was not associated with reduced cardiac events or improved BP control within 1 year but was associated with an increased risk of readmission and serious adverse events within 30 days.

So basically, let's not try to treat a number but the patient and let's not make a chronic problem a priority in the admission that doesn't warrant too many changes. That may be doing some harm!

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