Blacks treated at community health centers are less likely than Hispanics or whites to have controlled blood pressure
Low-income, minority, and/or immigrant populations often access care in federally qualified community health centers (FQHCs). A new study reveals that blacks treated at these centers are less likely than Hispanics or whites to have controlled blood pressure.
Researchers looked at the electronic medical records of 18,996 adults from four FQHCs in New York to examine the correlates of hypertension control. The hypertension rate among blacks (32.8 percent) was more than twice the rate of whites (16.2 percent) and nearly three times that of Hispanics (11.5 percent).
Blacks were more likely than whites or Hispanics to have a higher body mass index (BMI) and to have stage 2 hypertension at the initial visit during the study period. Blacks were also more likely than whites or Hispanics to be taking three or more medications.
Uncontrolled hypertension was associated with male gender, race/ethnicity, income, fewer clinical encounters, higher BMI, and a greater number of prescribed medications. Among the total patient population, 14 percent had a diagnosis of hypertension. In this diverse population of hypertensive patients with regular access to primary care services, 49 percent had controlled blood pressure at their last visit. The researchers found no racial/ethnic disparities in treatment such as differences in medication intensification, number of encounters, or in other quality indicators. The study was supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (HS17167).
See "Predictors of blood pressure control among hypertensives in community health centers," by Donna Shelley, M.D., M.P.H., Tuo-Yen Tseng, M.A., Howard Andrews, Ph.D., and others in the December 2011 American Journal of Hypertension 24(12), pp. 1318-1323.
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