HealthDay News — Better accessibility of primary care is associated with improved awareness and control of hypertension, according to a study published online in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

Jiajun Luo, PhD, from the University of Chicago, and colleagues examined participant data from the Chicago Multiethnic Prevention and Surveillance Study between 2013 and 2019 to examine the association between spatial accessibility of primary care and hypertension control and awareness. Data were included for 5096 participants (84% non-Hispanic Black).

The researchers found that the prevalence of measured hypertension was 78.7% in this population, of which 37.7% were uncontrolled and 41.0% were unaware. There was an association observed for a higher accessibility score with lower measured hypertension prevalence. Compared with the lowest quartile of accessibility score, the odds ratio strengthened from 0.82 (95% confidence interval, 0.67 to 1.01) to 0.75 (95% confidence interval, 0.62 to 0.91) and then to 0.73 (95% confidence interval, 0.60 to 0.89) for the second, third, and fourth (highest) quartiles, respectively, in fully adjusted models (P trend < 0.01). For uncontrolled and unaware hypertensions, the associations were similar. A higher accessibility score was associated with lower rates of unaware hypertension in disadvantaged and nondisadvantaged neighborhoods when stratified by neighborhood socioeconomic status.

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“Better spatial accessibility to primary care was associated with reduced prevalence of both uncontrolled and unaware hypertension,” the authors write. “These findings suggest that ensuring adequate number of primary care providers can be effective to improve population health.”

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