Mexican Program Increases Hypertension Treatment

Expanding Seguro Popular program may help improve hypertension control among uninsured in Mexico

THURSDAY, Oct. 25 (HealthDay News) -- A recently implemented health insurance program in Mexico is associated with higher rates of treatment for hypertension, according to research published online Oct. 22 in BMJ.

Sara N. Bleich, Ph.D., of Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore, and colleagues analyzed data from 1,065 uninsured hypertensive adults matched with 1,065 hypertensive adults insured through the Seguro Popular program, which aims to offer health insurance to all uninsured people by 2010.

People in the program were significantly more likely receive antihypertensive treatment (odds ratio 1.50), and they showed a trend of a higher probability of receiving antihypertensive treatment with control of their blood pressure (OR, 1.35). The findings also indicate that the program may be most effective in regions with a high health professional to patient ratio.

"As Seguro Popular continues to expand, efforts should be made to understand the factors associated with uncontrolled hypertension in Mexico. Attention should also be focused on providing insurance and improving the volume of health professionals in areas where supply is limited. The success of Seguro Popular should serve as a positive example to other developing countries looking to create an entitlement for uninsured people," the authors write.

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