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Hypertension is the condition of chronically elevated blood pressure. Data on its prevalence and adverse consequences are used in the Health Insurance Study (HIS) to investigate the effect of different levels of insurance on health status and quality of care for three main reasons: widespread prevalence, association with considerable morbidity and mortality, and amenability to treatment and control. This volume reviews pertinent medical literature, details the HIS definition of hypertension, describes HIS methods for measuring its presence and impact on people's lives, presents and discusses the enrollment data of the six HIS sites, and outlines quality-of-care criteria. Illustrative findings include the following: Nearly 12 percent of about 3320 HIS adult enrollees were classified as hypertensive by actual blood pressure measurement. Of those with definite hypertension, about two-thirds knew they had the condition and, of this latter subgroup, 57 percent reported they worried about the illness and 17 percent restricted their usual activities.

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