Algorithms for Health Planners

Vol. 6, Hypertension

by D. E. Drew, Emmett B. Keeler


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Assists health planners, especially those in Health Systems Agencies (HSAs), in developing objectives and taking action toward ameliorating the problem of hypertension, or high blood pressure (HBP). The algorithm, or methodology, helps HSAs assess the prevalence of hypertension in their areas, identify breakdowns in the health care system, and specify needed improvements in the system. Known facts about high blood pressure, its pathological complications, prevalence, and treatment are reviewed. Guidelines are presented for assessing community HBP rates (through analysis of existing data or through collection of new data) and comparing those rates with national or other standards. Possible community actions toward ameliorating these problems are discussed: educational programs, door-to-door screening, industrial clinics, neighborhood clinics, and private screening. Finally, guidelines are presented for assessing the effects of such community programs.

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