Clinic-Based Strategies to Reach United States Million Hearts 2022 Blood Pressure Control Goals

Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes. 2019 Jun;12(6):e005624. doi: 10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.118.005624. Epub 2019 Jun 5.


Background: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Million Hearts initiative includes an ambitious ≥80% blood pressure control goal in US adults with hypertension by 2022. We used the validated Blood Pressure Control Model to quantify changes in clinic-based hypertension management processes needed to attain ≥80% blood pressure control.

Methods and results: The Blood Pressure Control Model simulates patient blood pressures weekly using 3 key modifiable hypertension management processes: office visit frequency, clinician treatment intensification given uncontrolled blood pressure, and continued antihypertensive medication use (medication adherence rate). We compared blood pressure control rates (using the Seventh Joint National Committee on hypertension targets) achieved over 4 years between usual care and the best-observed values for management processes identified from the literature (1-week return visit interval, 20%-44% intensification rate, and 76% adherence rate). We determined the management process values needed to achieve ≥80% blood pressure control in US adults. In adults with uncontrolled blood pressure, usual care achieved 45.6% control (95% uncertainty interval, 39.6%-52.5%) and literature-based best-observed values achieved 79.7% control (95% uncertainty interval, 79.3%-80.1%) over 4 years. Increasing treatment intensification rates to 62% of office visits with an uncontrolled blood pressure resulted in ≥80% blood pressure control, even when the return visit interval and adherence remained at usual care values. Improving to best-observed values for all 3 management processes would achieve 78.1% blood pressure control in the overall US population with hypertension, approaching the ≥80% Million Hearts 2022 goal.

Conclusions: Achieving the Million Hearts blood pressure control goal by 2022 will require simultaneously increasing visit frequency, overcoming therapeutic inertia, and improving patient medication adherence. As the relative importance of each of these 3 processes will depend on local characteristics, simulation models like the Blood Pressure Control Model can help local healthcare systems tailor strategies to reach local and national benchmarks.

Keywords: adults; blood pressure; cardiovascular disease; hypertension; medication adherence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Antihypertensive Agents / adverse effects
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Benchmarking / standards*
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects*
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. / standards*
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Drug Resistance
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / diagnosis
  • Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Medication Adherence
  • Office Visits
  • Quality Improvement / standards
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care / standards
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Antihypertensive Agents