Original Study| Volume 22, ISSUE 12, P2540-2546.e2, December 2021

Deprescribing Blood Pressure Treatment in Long-Term Care Residents

Published:August 05, 2021DOI:



      To evaluate the incidence of deprescribing of antihypertensive medication among older adults residing in Veterans Affairs (VA) nursing homes for long-term care and rates of deprescribing after potentially triggering events.


      Retrospective cohort study.

      Setting and Participants

      Long-term care residents aged 65 years and older admitted to a VA nursing home from 2006 to 2019 and using blood pressure medication at admission.


      Data were extracted from the VA electronic health record, and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Minimum Data Set and Bar Code Medication Administration. Deprescribing was defined on a rolling basis as a reduction in the number or dose of antihypertensive medications, sustained for ≥2 weeks. We examined potentially triggering events for deprescribing, including low blood pressure (<90/60 mmHg), acute renal impairment (creatinine increase of 50%), electrolyte imbalance (potassium below 3.5 mEq/L, sodium decrease by 5 mEq/L), and falls.


      Among 31,499 VA nursing home residents on antihypertensive medication, 70.4% had ≥1 deprescribing event (median length of stay = 6 months), and 48.7% had a net reduction in antihypertensive medications over their stay. Deprescribing events were most common in the first 4 weeks after admission and the last 4 weeks of life. Among potentially triggering events, a 50% increase in serum creatinine was associated with the greatest increase in the likelihood of deprescribing over the subsequent 4 weeks: residents with this event had a 41.7% chance of being deprescribed compared with 11.5% in those who did not (risk difference = 30.3%, P < .001). A fall in the past 30 days was associated with the smallest magnitude increased risk of deprescribing (risk difference = 3.8%, P < .001) of the events considered.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Deprescribing of antihypertensive medications is common among VA nursing home residents, especially after a potential renal adverse event.


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