HealthDay News — Patients who make twice-yearly visits to their primary-care provider may have their  hypertension under better control compared with only seeing the doctor once a year, according to researchers.

As part of the Healthy People 2020 program, the United States established hypertension goals for adult patients to decrease prevalence to 26.9%, and raise treatment to 69.5% and control to 61.2%. This requires controlling 88.1% of patients with hypertension on treatment, noted Brent M. Egan, MD, of University of South Carolina School of Medicine-Greenville, in Greenville, SC, and colleagues in Circulation.

To assess current status and progress towards the Healthy People 2020 goals, the investigators analyzed data from 37,000 adult patients, who had their blood pressure checked between 1999 and 2012.

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Patients who saw their PCP at least twice per year were three times more likely to keep their hypertension under control compared with patients who saw their PCP once per year or less.

Even after controlling for factors such as diabetes, smoking, and body fat, doctor visits were the strongest predictor of hypertension control. Having health insurance and being treated for high cholesterol also improved the chances of keeping hypertension in check, the researchers added.


  1. Egan BM et al. Circulation. 2014; doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.114.010676