Elevated Blood Pressure Increases the Rate of Hospitalizations
According to Cedars-Sinai researchers, hospitalizations for hypertensive crises have more than doubled from 2002 to 2014. These results seem to contradict some studies that have reported progress in blood pressure control and a decline in cardiovascular events during the same period in the US.
- Joseph E. Ebinger, MD, noted that while more people were able to better manage their blood pressure, this has not resulted in a decrease of hospitalizations for cases of hypertensive crisis.
- Dr. Ebinger also stated that a range of various causes could explain this occurrence, from individuals unable to afford medication to taking inadequate amounts.
Other factors include socioeconomic aspects that make it difficult for people to avoid high-salt diets, inactivity, smoking, and other behaviors that contribute to elevated blood pressure.
Limited access to healthcare, financial instability and domestic demands may also be contributing factors. Dr. Ebinger believes that more research is required to understand why this is going on and how healthcare providers can help mitigate the rate of hospitalizations.
Statistical Analysis Results
Researchers analyzed data from the National Inpatient Sample database, including a subset of all US hospitalizations, illustrating a broader image of nationwide trends.
Their results showed that hospitalizations for hypertensive crises more than doubled from 2002 to 2014, increasing from 0.17% to 0.39% in men and from 0.16% to 0.34% in women. Over the same period, out of 918,392 hospitalizations for hypertensive crisis, 4,377 resulted in in-hospital fatalities.
Researchers also noted that the risk of death from high blood pressure slightly decreased during the same time frame, with fatalities in women being similar to those of men even though they presented fewer health concerns.
Susan Cheng, MD, MPH, said that these results have led to questions relating to sex-specific biological mechanisms that may place women at a greater risk of fatalities due to elevated blood pressure. A better understanding of these processes could help prevent more deaths among women.
Other Cedars-Sinai researchers in this study are Yunxian Liu, Ph.D., MS; Matthew Driver, MPH; Noel Bairey Merz, MD; Florian Rader, MD, MSc; and Christine M. Albert, MD, MPH.