ER Visits For Hypertension Complications Rise Interview with:
Sourabh Aggarwal, MD
University College of Medical Sciences
Western Michigan University School of Medicine in Kalamazoo.

Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Aggarwal: The main findings were that from 2006 to 2011:

  • ER visits for essential hypertension increased by 25 percent, while the admission percentage for these patients fell by 15 percent.
  • ER visits for hypertension with complication and secondary hypertension increased by 19 percent, while the admission percentage for these patients fell by 12 percent

Medical Research: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Aggarwal: Well, we did not expect these results especially the increase in relative rate of number of visits with hypertension as first listed diagnosis.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Aggarwal: The takeaway message would be that there is large unmet need for better control of blood pressure in outpatient/ambulatory setting. These visits to ER, with some resulting in admission leading to high cost to healthcare can potentially be avoided by better outpatient control of  blood pressure.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Aggarwal: We need to identify the demographics and risk factors of these patients with visit to ER for hypertension. Identifying at-risk patients can help us channelize resources better to prevent morbidity and associated healthcare cost.


Sourabh Aggarwal, M.D., chief resident, internal medicine, Western Michigan University School of Medicine, Kalamazoo, Mich.; Stephen Pitts, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor, medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta; Sept. 9, 2014, presentation, American Heart Association High Blood Pressure Research Scientific Sessions 2014, San Francisco


Last Updated on September 14, 2014 by Marie Benz MD FAAD