HealthDay News — The prevalence of hypertension varies across states and is higher in rural versus urban areas, according to research published in the May 8 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Claudine M. Samanic, Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed data reported by 442,641 adults who participated in the 2017 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to examine the prevalence of self-reported hypertension and antihypertensive medication use by rural-urban classification and county.

The researchers found that in rural areas and the most urban (large central metro) areas, 40.0 and 29.4 percent of adults, respectively, reported having hypertension. Compared with the most urban areas, the most rural areas had a higher age-standardized hypertension prevalence within nearly all categories of age, sex, and other demographic characteristics. Across counties, model-based hypertension prevalence varied from 18.0 to 55.0 percent, and was highest in the Southeastern and Appalachian counties. Among adults with hypertension, model-based county-level prevalence of antihypertensive medication use varied from 54.3 to 84.7 percent, with use higher in rural versus most urban areas.

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“CDC is working with states to improve hypertension treatment and control through team-based care interventions that involve physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dietitians, and community health workers,” the authors write. “The increased use of telemedicine to support this strategy might improve the quality and availability of care among underserved populations.”

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