International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 38, Issue 5, pp 1044–1047 | Cite as

Blood pressure evaluation and review of antihypertensive medication in patients with life limiting illness

  • Felicity Dewhurst
  • Lisa Baker
  • Inga Andrew
  • Adam ToddEmail author
Short Research Report


Background Patients with life limiting illness commonly have multiple co-morbidities that require the use of complex, costly pharmacotherapy. One such example is using medications to treat hypertension in life limiting illness. Objective To: (1) assess the prevalence of previously documented hypertension and associated blood pressure in a cohort of patients with life limiting illness; and, (2) assess the appropriateness of antihypertensive medication in this patient group. Method This was a single centre study at a tertiary, specialist palliative care centre in Northern England. Electronic medical notes were reviewed and data were extracted. Antihypertensive medication was assessed for appropriateness using a conceptual framework. Results A total number of 54 patients were included in the study. Twenty six (48.1 %) had previously documented hypertension: the mean blood pressure of which was 122/65 mmHg (SD 17.0/10.5), while for the normotensive patients it was 122/73 mmHg (SD 21.0/11.6). Of the 26 patients using antihypertensive medication, 25 were assessed as using the medication inappropriately. Conclusions The blood pressure for patients with previously documented hypertension who access specialist palliative care day services is commonly below the NICE target threshold. The majority of these patients are prescribed antihypertensive medications inappropriately.


Deprescribing Hypertension Inappropriate medication Palliative care United Kingdom 



This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Felicity Dewhurst
    • 1
  • Lisa Baker
    • 1
  • Inga Andrew
    • 1
  • Adam Todd
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Centre for Specialist Palliative CareSt Benedict’s HospiceSunderlandUK
  2. 2.Division of Pharmacy, School of Medicine, Pharmacy and HealthDurham UniversityStockton-on-TeesUK

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