Trends in the use of antihypertensive drugs by outpatients with diabetes in Taiwan, 1997–2003


  • No conflict of interest was declared.



To analyze trends in AHD-use by diabetic outpatients in Taiwan over a 7-year period (1997–2003) and to see whether the trends are consistent with clinical trial outcomes and published guidelines.


A cross-sectional survey was implemented using National Health Insurance Research Database between January 1997 and December 2003. Adult outpatients who had diagnoses of diabetes and hypertension and who had concurrent antidiabetic and antihypertensive drug claim were identified. The prescribing trends were described in terms of the prescribing rates and patterns of AHDs in each study year.


Of the AHDs, CCBs were the most widely prescribed class throughout the study period but the prescribing rates declined considerably over the study period. A significant downward trend was also observed for beta-blockers and other classes. Drugs acting on the RAS were the only one class showing a significant increase in prescribing rates with time. The prescribing patterns for monotherapy regimen decreased over time while those for two-, three-, and four or more drug regimens increased over time. Monotherapies maintained with CCBs, beta-blockers, diuretics, and other classes steadily declined but those maintained with drugs acting on the RAS markedly increased.


The use of drugs acting on the RAS showed a marked increasing trend over the course of the study. Physicians' prescribing patterns for AHD are increasingly involving multi-drug regimens. These findings may imply that management of hypertension in patients with diabetes had a positive trend toward to new clinical trial outcomes and guideline's recommendation. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.