Improving Hypertension Control Population-wide in Minnesota

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Abstract

Context:

Hypertension is a common and costly risk factor for cardiovascular disease, but just over half of all adults with hypertension have their blood pressure controlled nationally. In Minneapolis–St Paul, Minnesota, the rate of hypertension control is approximately 70% despite a rate of hypertension control similar to the national average as recently as the first half of the 1990s.

Objective:

The purposes of this study were to identify factors in Minneapolis–St Paul and state-level policies and programs in Minnesota that may have contributed to the more rapid increase in blood pressure control there than that in the rest of the nation and to identify factors that can potentially be replicated in other jurisdictions.

Design, Setting, Participants:

The study included analysis of trends in hypertension control since 1980 based on the Minnesota Heart Survey and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, as well as interviews with health care and public health leaders in Minnesota.

Main Outcome Measure:

Prevalence of hypertension control.

Results:

Probable contributing factors identified include a focus on collaborative and continuous quality improvement; a forum for setting statewide clinical guidelines and measures; the willing participation from the largest health systems, purchasers, and nonprofit health plans; and the use of widely accepted mechanisms for providing feedback to clinicians and reporting performance. The relatively high rate of insurance coverage and socioeconomic status may have contributed but do not fully explain the difference in hypertension control as compared with the rest of the United States.

Conclusions:

The experience in Minnesota demonstrates that it is possible to dramatically increase hypertension control at the population level, across health systems, and health plans in a relatively short period of time. Lessons learned may be helpful to informing local, state, and national efforts to improve hypertension control.

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