EUH Dressler Conference: How common are hypertensive emergencies?

The Bottom Line: Hypertensive emergencies are rare, yet they have more than doubled from 2006 to 2013. It is estimated they occur in about 2 in 1,000 adult ED visits overall, and in 2013 they occurred in 6 in 1,000 adult ED visits with any diagnosis of hypertension.

Reference: Janke AT, McNaughton CD, Brody AM, et al. Trends in the Incidence of Hypertensive Emergencies in US Emergency Departments from 2006 to 2013. Journal of the American Heart Association 2016 Dec 5; 5(12): e004511. doi:10.1161/JAHA.116.04511.

Summary: In their study, Janke et al found that total hypertensive emergencies increased by 16.2% per year from 2006 to 2013, while the overall number of ED visits in that same period increased at an average rate of 2.0% year‐over‐year. Despite such a large increase, in terms of the rate per million adult ED visits, hypertensive emergencies remained a rare diagnosis, with an incidence of 677 per million adult ED visits in 2006 and 1640 per million adult ED visits in 2013, yielding an estimated rate increase of 13.9% per year (P<0.0001).

This is a descriptive epidemiological analysis of ED visit data from the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS) for 2006–2013. NEDS is a publicly available database maintained by the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project and funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. NEDS is designed to provide nationally representative estimates of all ED visits. These databases are compiled from State Emergency Department Databases and State Inpatient Databases as part of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. In 2013, 30 states and 947 hospitals contributed data on ED visits representing ≈20% of all hospital‐based ED visits.



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