The Association Between Hypertension Treatment, Control, and Functional Status

Published In: Journal of General Internal Medicine, v. 2, no. 6, Nov.-Dec. 1987, p. 406-410

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 1986

by David S. Siscovick, David S. Strogatz, Suzanne W. Fletcher, Barbara Leake, Robert H. Brook

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The authors examined the relationship between hypertension treatment, control, and functional status among 356 uncomplicated hypertensive patients receiving care in 16 teaching hospital group practices. Antihypertensive drug therapy and blood pressure control were determined from a medical record review. Functional status (health perceptions, mental health, role, and physical functioning) was assessed with a questionnaire. After adjustment for potential confounders, hypertensive patients without drug therapy were less likely to have impairment in mental health functioning, compared with patients receiving one or more than one antihypertensive medication (9% versus 25% and 20% respectively, p less than 0.05). However, uncontrolled hypertensive patients were more likely to have role limitations than patients controlled only at the end or throughout the record review period (51% versus 39% and 36%, respectively, p less than 0.05). Patients controlled throughout the review period had the least impairment for each measure of functional status. These preliminary findings suggest that pharmacologic therapy may have a negative influence on the mental health of uncomplicated hypertensive patients, but that the dual goals of blood pressure control and positive functional status are not incompatible.

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