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Editor's Correspondence
October 28, 2002

Barriers to Blood Pressure Control

Arch Intern Med. 2002;162(19):2245. doi:

I read with interest the study by Oliveria et al.1 I have a few questions about the study along with some general comments.

Patients were said to have uncontrolled hypertension if the average blood pressure (BP) reading for up to 6 visits during the 6 months prior to the index visit was greater than 139/89 mm Hg. It is not mentioned what the average number of visits was in the study population, and the reason(s) for the visits prior to the index visit were not ascertained in the study. This is important because the previous visit might have been for urgent care (eg, common cold, low back pain) when the BP might have been 154/90 mm Hg and at the index visit BP might have been 136/84 mm Hg; the average BP then would be 145/87 mm Hg, which is concluded as uncontrolled BP. One would think that most patients would have made not more than 2 visits to their primary care provider during a 6-month period.

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