Improving medical students

Understanding Hypertension

Posted by medliorator on August 8, 2008

Ted Eytan on HTN…

  • Hypertension is the #1 reason for physician office visits in the United States (9.7% of all visits)
  • 20 % of patients diagnosed with high blood pressure do not actually have it; it is falsely elevated in the doctor’s office (called “white coat hypertension”). This results in unnecessary (and costly) treatment.
  • 10 % of patients measured with normal blood pressure in the doctor’s office actually have high blood pressure (called “masked hypertension”)
  • In recognition of the above, many health plans and Medicare reimburse for “Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring” (CPT Code: 93784), which is a 24-hour, round-the-clock, blood pressure measurement. This type of measurement is typically a research tool and not used in clinical practice. There is no reimbursement for home monitoring currently.
  • The average of 2 home blood pressure readings is more predictive of mortality than screening blood pressures taken by nurses and technicians
  • 32 – 53 % of patients stop their medications by the end of the first year
  • A patient like this is considered “high risk” because he is male and likely to have another condition (such as high cholesterol)

Stepping Through a Patient’s Experience with Hypertension: Making the Diagnosis [Ted Eytan, MD]


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