HealthPartners team to study hypertension in children, adolescents
September 15, 2009
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - A HealthPartners research team has received a National Institutes of Health research grant to study childhood hypertension and obesity, including the quality of care children receive. The team, led by Patrick O'Connor, MD MPH, received $3,036,000 to conduct the four-year study, "Childhood Hypertension and Obesity: Diagnosis, Care and Costs."
"The prevalence of elevated blood pressure in children and adolescents is rising," said Dr. O'Connor, senior clinical investigator at HealthPartners Research Foundation and assistant medial director at HealthPartners Medical Group. "Often these young people progress to hypertension as adults, which means more health problems later in life."
Working with Kaiser Permanente's Division of Research in California and Institute for Health Research in Colorado, the team will study the vital signs and clinical conditions of 80,000 children and adolescents with the goal of understanding their hypertension, carefully assessing how blood pressure is linked to overweight, and assessing the quality of care provided. Economic analyses will assess whether those with elevated blood pressure have higher health care costs than those with normal blood pressure.
"One of our goals is to utilize the power of our electronic medical records to better understanding the burden of elevated blood pressure," said Dr. O'Connor. "What we learn will guide the development of intervention strategies to prevent and better treat this serious condition."
HealthPartners Research Foundation
HealthPartners family of care includes HealthPartners Research Foundation (www.hprf.org). Conducting about 250 research projects each year, the Foundation is dedicated to advancing scientific knowledge through research to improve the health of our members and the community. Founded in 1957, the HealthPartners family of healthcare companies serves 1.25 million medical and dental health plan members nationwide and is the largest consumer-governed, nonprofit healthcare organization in the nation, providing care, coverage, research and education to improve the health of members, patients and the community.