Two doctor visits a year linked to better blood pressure control

Two doctor visits a year linked to better blood pressure control

(Reuters Health) – People who went to their doctor’s office at least twice a year were more likely to keep their blood pressure under control compared to those who went once a year or not at all, says a new study.

Having health insurance and following treatment for high cholesterol were also linked to better blood pressure control.

“Folks that go to the doctor at least twice a year are more likely to be aware of their blood pressure, more likely to be treated, more likely to be controlled when treated and have significantly better control rates,” Dr. Brent Egan, who led the study, told Reuters Health.

“People with uncontrolled high blood pressure have a greater risk for having a stroke, having a heart attack, having heart failure and even memory loss without having a stroke,” said Egan, of University of South Carolina School of Medicine in Greenville.

He added that most people may not be aware of the fact that memory loss with aging is greater in people who have high blood pressure that’s uncontrolled.

“So there are number of reasons why it’s a good thing to get the blood pressure control,” said Egan, who is also medical director of the non-profit Care Coordination Institute.

About one of every three Americans has high blood pressure, which is defined as having a reading above 140/90 mmHg. Only about half of adults with high blood pressure have it under control, the study team writes in the journal Circulation.

A national health promotion and disease prevention initiative called Healthy Living 2020 established goals to reduce the rate of high blood pressure in the U.S. from 30 percent of all adults to 27 percent, and to increase the rate of blood pressure control to greater than 60 percent of people with high blood pressure.

Egan and his colleagues designed the study to see how those goals are coming along. They looked at data on participants in the annual National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey who had their blood pressure checked during the period from 1999 to 2012.

The researchers found that people who were obese, didn’t have insurance and didn’t
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Two doctor visits a year linked to better blood pressure control – Reuters UK

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