(HealthDay News) — Hypertension-related emergency department (ED) visits are relatively common and increased from 2006 to 2012, according to a study published in The American Journal of Cardiology.

Candace D. McNaughton MD, MPH, from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, and colleagues examined the burden of hypertension-related ED visits, as well as the associated patient and hospital characteristics. 

Hypertension-related ED visits were identified using the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample from 2006 to 2012; population-based rates for each study year were determined by linking to U.S. Census Bureau July population estimates.

The researchers found that during the 7-year study period there were 165 946 807 hypertension-related ED visits (23.6% of all adult visits); hypertension was the primary diagnosis for 0.9% of all adult ED visits. 

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Per year there was a 5.2% increase in the estimated yearly incidence rate for hypertension-related visits (P<.001) and a 4.4% increase per year for visits with a primary diagnosis of hypertension (P<.001). The proportion of adults hospitalized decreased over the same time period, and the proportion of visits at safety net hospitals and among uninsured patients increased.

“These data indicate that hypertension-related emergency department visits are common and increasing,” the researchers wrote.


  1. McNaughton CD, Self WH, Zhu Y, Janke AT, Storrow AB, Levy P. Incidence of Hypertension-Related Emergency Department Visits in the United States, 2006 to 2012. Am J Cardiol. 2015;116(11):1717-1723.