Age Differences in Visits to Office-based Physicians by Adults with Hypertension: United States, 2013

Jill J. Ashman, Ph.D., Health Statistician

Jill J. Ashman, Ph.D., Health Statistician

Questions for Jill J. Ashman, Ph.D., Health Statistician and Lead Author on “Age Differences in Visits to Office-based Physicians by Adults With Hypertension: United States, 2013

Q: Why did you choose age differences as the demographic focus of your study?

JA: I wanted to examine this demographic because of the dramatic differences by age I was seeing in preliminary analyses. For instance, the increase by age in the percentage of adult visits to office-based physicians made by adults with hypertension is large–going from 9% of adults aged 18-44 to 58% of adults aged 75 and over.


Q: What do you think is the most significant finding in your new study?

JA: Probably, the most significant finding is that 34% of all adult visits to office-based physicians were made by adults with hypertension, representing an estimated 259 million office visits in 2013.


Q: How likely was it that medication(s) for high blood pressure were included as part of the treatment that Americans with hypertension were getting at their doctors’ offices?

JA: VERY LIKELY! Hypertensive medications were provided, prescribed, or continued at 62% of office-based physician visits made by adults with hypertension, and the percentage with hypertensive medications increased with age. Half of visits by patients aged 18-44 with hypertension included hypertensive medications whereas this percentage increased to 65% for visits by patients aged 75 and over with hypertension.


Q: Among American adults with high blood pressure, is hypertension the only condition they have when they visit their doctors’ offices?

JA: Hypertension is NOT their only health concern. Eighty-two percent of visits in 2013 that were made by adults with hypertension were made by patients who had been diagnosed with other chronic conditions. A quarter of the visits by adults with hypertension were made by patients who had been diagnosed with 4 or more chronic conditions.


Q: What is the take home message of your report?

JA: I think it’s important to note that regardless of age, adults with hypertension use extensive health resources as evidenced by frequent visits to the doctor (47% of all such visits including four or more visits to the same doctor in the past year) and that there is extensive use of hypertensive medications, with 62% of all such visits including one or more hypertensive medications.

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