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Frequency and Predictors of Communication About High Blood Pressure in Rheumatoid Arthritis Visits.

Bartels, Christie Michels; Johnson, Heather; Alcaraz Voelker, Katya; Ogdie, Alexis; McBride, Patrick; Jacobs, Elizabeth A; Zhao, Ying-Qi; Smith, Maureen.
J Clin Rheumatol; 24(4): 210-217, 2018 Jun.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29688897


Given heightened cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and that higher blood pressure (BP) represents greater CVD risk, we hypothesized that higher BP would predict more BP-related communication in rheumatology visits. We examined predictors of documented BP communication during RA clinic visits.


This was a retrospective cohort study of RA patients identified in electronic health record records with uncontrolled hypertension (HTN) receiving both primary and rheumatology care. Trained abstractors reviewed RA visit notes for "BP communication" using a standardized tool to elicit documentation about BP or HTN beyond recording vital signs. We used multivariate logistic regression to examine the impact of BP category (American Heart Association: ideal normotension, pre-HTN, and stages I and II HTN) on odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) of BP communication.


Among 1267 RA patients, 40% experienced BP elevations meeting the definition of uncontrolled HTN. Of 2677 eligible RA visits, 22% contained any documented BP communication. After adjustment, models predicted only 31% of visits with markedly high BPs 160/100 mm Hg or greater would contain BP communication. Compared with stage I, stage II elevation did not significantly increase communication (odds ratio, 2.0 [95% confidence interval, 1.4-2.8] vs. 1.5 [1.2-2.2]), although both groups' odds exceeded pre-HTN and normotension. Less than 10% of eligible visits resulted in documented action steps recommending follow-up of high BP.


Regardless of BP magnitude, most RA clinic visits lacked documented communication about BP despite compounded CVD risk. Future work should study how rheumatology clinics can facilitate follow-up of high BPs to address HTN as the most common and reversible CVD risk factor.
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