Regular Physician Visits Linked to Controlled Hypertension

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Regular physician visits, possession of health insurance, and cholesterol treatment are associated with greater hypertension control, according to a new study published in Circulation. As the nation moves toward meeting the Health People 2020 goals, which include reducing hypertension prevalence and increasing both treatment and control of the disease, these factors grow ever more important. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Researchers studied 37,005 individuals who completed the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys between 1999 and 2012. Of the participants, 12,262 had hypertension. The incidence of hypertension has not changed from 1999-2000 to 2011-2012, although increases were seen in hypertension treatment (59.8% vs 74.7%; P<.001) and the number of adults with controlled hypertension (53.3% vs 68.9%; P=.0015).
  • Significant modifiable risk factors were found, including independent associations between hypertension and increasing BMI, untreated hypertension and lack of health insurance, and untreated hypertension and less than 2 physician visits per year. Independent associations were also discovered between controlled hypertension and health insurance and fewer than 2 physician visits per year and cholesterol treatment.
  • Clinicians should recognize the need to control risk factors and may need to prescribe patients with obesity blood pressure medications more quickly, according to the lead researcher.

Regular Physician Visits Linked to Controlled Hypertension
Regular Physician Visits Linked to Controlled Hypertension
Patients who visit their physician at least two times per year, have health insurance and are receiving cholesterol treatment are more likely to have controlled hypertension compared with patients with less frequent physician visits, no insurance and no cholesterol treatment, according to a new analysis.
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