Blood pressure out of control at safety-net clinics

April 17, 2013

Federally funded safety-net clinics for the uninsured lag behind other health care providers in controlling blood pressure among the low-income patients who rely on them for care, a new Michigan State University analysis suggests.

, or hypertension, is a major risk factor for including heart disease and stroke, and is especially common and dangerous for patients with diabetes, said lead researcher Adesuwa Olomu, associate professor in the MSU Department of Medicine.

In recent decades, a growing share of the 67 million Americans with a history of hypertension have reined in their blood pressure through exercise, medication or other measures. National Health and Nutrition Survey data from 2003 to 2010 showed about half those patients had successfully moved their blood pressure back within a safe range, compared to 27 percent nearly two decades prior.

But just 38 percent of hypertensive patients had their blood pressure under control at a mid-Michigan safety-net clinic where Olomu and colleagues reviewed medical records from 2006 to 2008. Of the patients who also had diabetes, only 31 percent had the condition in check. Hypertension causes cardiovascular complications in many .

The clinic where the study was conducted is a Federally Qualified Health Center, which is a government-funded nonprofit facility that provides services to patients on Medicaid and Medicare and those without insurance.

"What our findings highlight is the need to design interventions that focus on these safety-net clinics where minority and low- receive their care," Olomu said.

The patients whom the clinics typically serve are more likely than the general population to be obese, to smoke or have other for hypertension, Olomu said. They also suffer disproportionately from complications such as or stroke.

Olomu and her team will use their findings as the baseline for testing interventions to improve blood pressure control at safety-net clinics in mid-Michigan.

"These groups face a lot of barriers to get the care they need," she said. "For example, many of them have difficulty finding transportation to the clinic. And there's a problem of adherence to their medication, so we have to find ways to help people take their medicine as prescribed."

The study appears in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension.

Explore further: Patients citing 'high blood pressure' more than doubled the chance of getting new medication

Related Stories

Patients citing 'high blood pressure' more than doubled the chance of getting new medication

September 28, 2012
(Medical Xpress)—A patient who cites hypertension as a reason for a doctor's visit is more than twice as likely to be prescribed a new medicine than a patient who doesn't speak up, according to a recent study by researchers ...

Take your blood pressure meds before bed

October 24, 2011
It's better to take blood pressure-lowering medications before bed rather than first thing in the morning, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology (JASN). The ...

Blood pressure, cholesterol most important indicators of heart disease risk in diabetics

January 28, 2013
For people with diabetes, meeting the recommended guidelines for blood pressure and cholesterol is even more important than meeting the guidelines for blood sugar control in reducing the risk of heart attack or stroke, according ...

Study finds continuous health coverage essential for patients managing diabetes

January 4, 2012
When patients with diabetes experience interruptions in health - insurance coverage, they are less likely to receive the screening tests and vaccines they need to protect their health. A new study finds that this is true ...

Blacks develop high blood pressure one year faster than whites

September 12, 2011
African-Americans with prehypertension develop high blood pressure a year sooner than whites, according to research reported in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Recommended for you

Blowing smoke? E-cigarettes might help smokers quit

July 26, 2017
People who used e-cigarettes were more likely to kick the habit than those who didn't, a new study found.

Brain disease seen in most football players in large report

July 25, 2017
Research on 202 former football players found evidence of a brain disease linked to repeated head blows in nearly all of them, from athletes in the National Football League, college and even high school.

Safety of medical devices not often evaluated by sex, age, or race

July 25, 2017
Researchers at Yale and the University of California-San Francisco have found that few medical devices are analyzed to consider the influence of their users' sex, age, or race on safety and effectiveness.

Why you should consider more than looks when choosing a fitness tracker

July 25, 2017
A UNSW study of five popular physical activity monitors, including Fitbit and Jawbone models, has found their accuracy differs with the speed of activity, and where they are worn.

Dog walking could be key to ensuring activity in later life

July 24, 2017
A new study has shown that regularly walking a dog boosts levels of physical activity in older people, especially during the winter.

Study finds 275,000 calls to poison control centers for dietary supplement exposures from 2000 through 2012

July 24, 2017
U.S. Poison Control Centers receive a call every 24 minutes, on average, regarding dietary supplement exposures, according to a new study from the Center for Injury Research and Policy and the Central Ohio Poison Center, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.