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International Journal of Hypertension
Volume 2012, Article ID 405892, 8 pages
Research Article

Overcoming Barriers in the Management of Hypertension: The Experience of the Cardiovascular Health Program in Chilean Primary Health Care Centers

1Department of Family Medicine & Primary Care, Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile, 8380453 Santiago, Chile
2Institute of Molecular Epidemiology (MELISA), Faculty of Medicine, Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción, 4070129 Concepción, Chile
3School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, CA 92093, USA
4Fundacion Araucaria Foundation, Coronado, CA 92118, USA

Received 7 January 2012; Accepted 7 February 2012

Academic Editor: Kazuko Masuo

Copyright © 2012 Daniela Sandoval et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. To assess the blood pressure control and cardiovascular risk factors (CVRFs) in a population of hypertensive patients with access to care under a government-financed program, the Cardiovascular Health Program (CHP). Design. A cross-sectional and multicenter study. Setting. 52 primary care centers, metropolitan area of Santiago, Chile. Participants. 1,194 patients were selected by a systematic random sampling from a universe of 316,654 hypertensive patients. Key Measurements. Demographic information, blood pressure (BP) measurements, and CVRF were extracted from medical records of patients followed for a 12-month period. Results. 59.7% of patients reached target BP  mmHg. More women were captured in the sampling (2.1 : 1), achieving better BP control than men. Diabetic patients (26.4%) had worse BP control than nondiabetics. Antihypertensive medications were used in 91.5%, with multidrug therapy more frequent in patients with higher BP and more difficult control. Conclusions. The success in improving the BP control to values <140  mmHg from 45.3% to 59.7% underscores the contribution of this program in the Chilean primary care cardiovascular preventive strategies. However, fewer hypertensive men than women were captured by this program, and it is of concern the underperforming of BP control observed in diabetics.