Health Equity In Hypertension
According to BioMed Central, the incidence of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy increased from 16.30 million to 18.08 million globally. Black women are nearly 50% more likely to have high blood pressure and less likely than non-Hispanic whites to have their blood pressure under control – according to the Office of Minority Health. The cost of hypertension, in the US alone is $198 billion each year, according to the CDC.
The Health Equity Research Network (HERN) on the Prevention of Hypertension is part of the multi-pronged approach of the American Heart Association’s unprecedented pledge to aggressively address social determinants while working to support and improve the equitable health of all communities.
High blood pressure is one of the leading risk factors of heart disease and stroke and is also a health equity issue. Significant racial and ethnic disparities in both prevalence of hypertension and its management have been well documented.
Source: American Heart Association
Much research has been conducted that offer best practice recommendations for health care providers and payers to address the growing health equity gap. The following 8 steps were published by Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico:
While the problem may seem large, you can make a difference in closing the health equity gap right in your office by following these eight steps:
- Educate Yourself
- Gather Key Disparities Data for Your Patients
- Assess Your Office Culture
- Reach Out to Your Patients
- Use Evidence-based Interventions
- Ask About Social Determinants of Health
- Utilize Community Resources
- Speak Up
Item 2 on this list highlights the importance of gathering key disparities data. Health Evolve recognizes that all disparities data isn’t created equal. In fact, there is a growing push to improve the collection of accurate disparities data.
Data are a cornerstone for efforts to address disparities and advance health equity. Data are essential for identifying where disparities exist, directing efforts and resources to address disparities as they are identified, measuring progress toward achieving greater equity, and establishing accountability for achieving progress. Without adequate data, inequities remain unseen and unaddressed. A recurrent issue over the course of the pandemic has been a lack of data regarding racial disparities.
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation
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