HealthDay News — Hypertension-related emergency department visits are relatively common and have increased from 2006 to 2012, according to a study published in the December 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

Candace D. McNaughton MD, MPH, from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, and colleagues examined the burden of hypertension-related emergency department visits, as well as the associated patient and hospital characteristics. Hypertension-related emergency department visits were identified using the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample from 2006 to 2012; population-based rates for each study year were determined by linking to US Census Bureau July population estimates.

The researchers found that during the seven-year study period there were 165,946,807 hypertension-related emergency department visits (23.6% of all adult visits); hypertension was the primary diagnosis for 0.9% of all adult emergency department visits. Per year there was a 5.2% increase in the estimated yearly incidence rate for hypertension-related visits (P<.001) and a 4.4% increase per year for visits with a primary diagnosis of hypertension (P<.001). The proportion of adults hospitalized decreased over the same time period, and the proportion of visits at safety net hospitals and among uninsured patients increased.

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“These data indicate that hypertension-related emergency department visits are common and increasing,” the authors wrote.


McNaughton CD, Self WH, Zhu Y, et al. Incidence of Hypertension-Related Emergency Department Visits in the United States, 2006 to 2012. Am J Cardiol. 2015;116(11):1717-1723. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2015.09.007.