Introduction Hypertension is highly prevalent in Florida, but surveillance through the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is limited to self-reported hypertension and does not capture data on undiagnosed hypertension or measure blood pressure. We aimed to characterize the hypertensive population in the OneFlorida Clinical Research Consortium by using electronic health records and provide proof-of-concept for using routinely collected clinical data to augment surveillance efforts. Methods We identified patients with hypertension, defined as having at least 1 outpatient visit from January 2012 through June 2016 with an ICD-9-CM or ICD-10-CM diagnosis code for hypertension, or in the absence of a diagnosis, an elevated blood pressure (systolic =140 mm Hg or diastolic =90 mm Hg) recorded in the electronic health record at the most recent visit. The hypertensive population was characterized and mapped by zip code of patient residence to county prevalence. Results Of 838,469 patients (27.9% prevalence) who met the criteria for hypertension, 68% had received a diagnosis and 61% had elevated blood pressure. The geographic distribution of hypertension differed between diagnosed hypertension (highest prevalence in northern Florida) and undiagnosed hypertension (highest prevalence along eastern coast, in southern Florida, and in some rural western Panhandle counties). Uncontrolled hypertension was concentrated in southern Florida and the western Panhandle. Conclusion Our use of clinical data, representing usual care for Floridians, allows for identifying cases of uncontrolled hypertension and potentially undiagnosed cases, which are not captured by existing surveillance methods. Large-scale pragmatic research networks, like OneFlorida, may be increasingly important for tailoring future health care services, trials, and public health programs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health