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BMC Public Health. 2011 Mar 30;11:194. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-11-194.

Efficacy of screening for high blood pressure in dental health care.

Author information

1
Uppsala University, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Family Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology Section, Uppsala, Sweden. sevek.engstrom@pubcare.uu.se

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There is consensus on the importance of early detection and treatment of high blood pressure. Dental care is one of few medical services to which a considerable proportion of the general population comes for regular check-ups. We tested the effects of blood pressure screening in dental care centres with subsequent work-up of subjects screening positive in primary health care (PHCC).

METHODS:

Altogether 1,149 subjects 40-65 years old or 20-39 years old with body mass index >25, and with no previously known hypertension, who came for a dental examination had their blood pressure measured with an Omron M4® automatic blood pressure reading device. Subjects with systolic blood pressure readings above 160 mmHg or diastolic above 90 mmHg were referred to their PHCC for a check up. Outcome data were obtained by scrutiny of PHCC and hospital patient records for hypertension diagnoses during the three years following screening.

RESULTS:

237 (20.6%) subjects screened positive. Of these, 230 (97.1%) came to their PHCC within the 3-year follow-up period, as compared with 695 (76.2%) of those who screened negative (p < 0.0001). Of those who screened positive, 76 (32.1%) received a diagnosis of hypertension, as compared with 26 (2.9%) of those who screened negative. Sensitivity was 79.1%, specificity 84.8% and positive predictive value 30.1%. The number of subjects needed to screen to find one case of hypertension was 18.

CONCLUSIONS:

Co-operation between dental and primary care for blood pressure screening and work-up appears to be an effective way of detecting previously unknown hypertension.

PMID:
21450067
PMCID:
PMC3079645
DOI:
10.1186/1471-2458-11-194
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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