More Young Adults Take Anticholesterol, Hypertension Medications

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Anticholesterol, Hypertension Medications

The percentage of young adults who take anticholesterol andhypertension medications has increased significantly in recent years,according to a report released on Tuesday by pharmacy benefit manager Medco Health Solutions, the AP/Washington Times reports.

Accordingto the report, the percentage of adults ages 20 to 44 who tookanticholesterol medications increased from 2.5% in 2001 to more than 4%in 2006, a 68% increase. About 4.2 million young adults tookanticholesterol medications in 2006, the report found.

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Inaddition, the report found that the percentage of young adults who tookhypertension medications increased from 7% in 2001 to more than 8% in2006, a 21% increase. About 8.5 million young adults took hypertensionmedications in 2006, according to the report.

In comparison, thepercentage of adults older than age 65 who took anticholesterolmedications increased by 52% from 2001 to 2006, and the percentage ofseniors who took hypertension treatments increased by 9.5%, the reportfound. About half of seniors took anticholesterol medications in 2001,and more than one-fourth took hypertension treatments, according to thereport.

Some experts attributed the results of the report toincreased rates of obesity, hypertension and high cholesterol amongyoung adults. In addition, they said that more physicians have begun topromote use of anticholesterol and hypertension medications among youngadults as a preventive measure.

American Heart Association President Daniel Jones said, "This is good news, that more people in this age range are taking these medicines."

RobertEpstein, chief medical officer for Medco, said, "It was a surprise tous," adding, "Maybe the fact that we're seeing more young people withhigh cholesterol and blood pressure is indicative of the epidemic ofobesity and overweight that we're seeing in this country" (AP/Washington Times, 10/30).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. Youcan view the entire Kaiser DailyHealth Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email deliveryat kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily HealthPolicy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The HenryJ. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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