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Prevalence of Hypertension and Related Characteristics: Perspectives from an Outpatient Podiatric Medical Clinic

Steven R. CoopermanCollege of Podiatric Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA.

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David W. ShoflerCollege of Podiatric Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA.

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Byron LemonCollege of Podiatric Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA.

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Jordan RichardsonCollege of Podiatric Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA.

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Airani SathananthanEndocrinology, Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA.

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Background: Hypertension is a highly prevalent condition in the general population, conferring a high risk of significant morbidity and mortality. Associated with the condition are many well-characterized controllable and noncontrollable risk factors. This study aimed to identify the prevalence of hypertension in the outpatient podiatric medical clinic setting and to determine the relevance of hypertension risk factors in this setting.

Methods: A survey tool was created to characterize relevant risk factors, and systolic and diastolic blood pressures were recorded. Descriptive statistics were generated after conclusion of enrollment. Analysis was also performed to determine the relationship between individual risk factors and systolic blood pressure.

Results: Of the 176 patients, 56 (31.8%) had an incidentally high blood pressure at intake, including 18.5% of patients without a known history of hypertension and 38.5% with a known history of hypertension. Three risk factors were found to be significantly associated with increasing systolic blood pressure: weight (P = .022), stress level (P = .017), and presence of renal artery stenosis (P = .021). There was also a near–statistically significant inverse relationship between systolic blood pressure and amount of time spent exercising (P = .068).

Conclusions: Overall, a relatively high prevalence of incidental hypertension was identified, including among patients not previously diagnosed as having hypertension. Consideration of risk factors and awareness of the prevalence of the condition can be useful for practitioners, even as they manage presenting podiatric medical concerns. Future investigations may consider interventional or preventive strategies in the outpatient clinic setting.

Corresponding author: Steven R. Cooperman, DPM, College of Podiatric Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences, 309 E 2nd St, Pomona, CA 91766. (E-mail: Scooperman@westernu.edu)