AHA: ER Visits for Hypertension Rising in the U.S.

But admission rates and in-hospital mortality for hypertension have decreased

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Visits to the emergency department for hypertension have been increasing in U.S. hospitals, but admissions and deaths have decreased, according to research being presented at the American Heart Association's High Blood Pressure Research Scientific Sessions, being held Sept. 9 to 12 in San Francisco.

Sourabh Aggarwal, M.D., of Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, and colleagues analyzed data from 2006 to 2011 for first listed diagnosis of essential hypertension (3,938,456 emergency department visits) and hypertension with complications and secondary hypertension (1,429,308 emergency department visits).

The researchers found an admission rate for essential hypertension of 9.76 percent; the rate of emergency department visits per 100,000 people increased from 190.1 in 2006 to 238.5 in 2011. The admission rate for essential hypertension declined from 10.47 percent in 2006 to 8.85 percent in 2011. For the diagnosis of hypertension with complications and secondary hypertension during the study period, the admission rate was 73.41 percent; the rate of emergency department visits per 100,000 people increased from 71.2 in 2006 to 84.7 in 2011. The admission rate for hypertension with complications and secondary hypertension declined from 77.79 percent in 2006 to 68.75 percent in 2011. The in-hospital mortality rate decreased from 1.95 percent in 2006 to 1.25 percent in 2011.

"The decrease in admissions and deaths may be due to emergency room and hospital physicians becoming more skilled at treating high blood pressure," one of the authors said in a statement. "But there is still a large unmet need for patients to have better help controlling their blood pressure in the outpatient setting."

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