Rates and predictors of uncontrolled hypertension among hypertensive homeless adults using new york city shelter-based clinics

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Annals of Family Medicine








Blood pressure; Healthcare disparities; Homeless persons; Hypertension


© 2016, Annals of Family Medicine, Inc. All rights reserved. PURPOSE We undertook a study to determine the rates, predictors, and barriers to blood pressure control among homeless and nonhomeless hypertensive adult patients from 10 New York City shelter-based clinics. METHODS The study was a retrospective chart review of blood pressure measurements, sociodemographic characteristics, and factors associated with homelessness and hypertension extracted from the medical records of a random sample of hypertensive patients (N = 210) in 2014. RESULTS Most patients were African American or Hispanic; 24.8% were female, and 84.3% were homeless for a mean duration of 3.07 years (SD = 5.04 years). Homeless adult patients were younger, had less insurance, and were more likely to be a current smoker and alcohol abuser. Of the 210 hypertensive patients, 40.1% of homeless and 33.3% of nonhomeless patients had uncontrolled blood pressure (P = .29) when compared with US rates for hypertensive adults, which range between 19.6% and 24.8%, respectively; 15.8% of homeless patients had stage 2 hypertension (P = .27). Homeless hypertensive patients with diabetes or multiple chronic diseases had better blood pressure control (P <.01). In logistic regression, lack of insurance was associated with inadequate blood pressure control (P <.05). CONCLUSIONS The high rate of uncontrolled hypertension among hypertensive homeless adults is alarming. We propose comprehensive approaches to improve social support, access to medical insurance, and medication adherence, the lack of which complicate blood pressure control, targeted health education, and life style modifications using mobile health strategies for this mobile population.