Objective: Vulnerability profiling, an alternative to deterministic risk assessment, offers clinicians a more intuitive but empirically-grounded assessment of patient risk. This study aimed to determine whether a heuristic profile of high vulnerability is an independent predictor of uncontrolled hypertension. Methods: Secondary analysis of prospective observational study data on 2999 hypertensive patients treated with valsartan. Predictive validity of vulnerability profiling for first-line, secondline, and first-or-second-line antihypertensive treatment was inferred from 1) logistic regression models with adequate statistical fit, 2) statistically significant odds ratios for uncontrolled BP for the high-vulnerability cluster exceeding 1.00, and 3) correct classification rates for patients' BP control status. Results: All models of uncontrolled BP were significant (P<0.001); all odds ratios for the high-vulnerability cluster were greater than 1.00 and significant (P<0.001). Correct classification rates for the highly-vulnerability cluster on uncontrolled BP after first-line, second-line, or either treatment were 91.1%, 61.2%, and 93.5% for systolic BP; 74.5%, 65.8%, and 76.7% for diastolic BP; and 92.8%, 65.3%, and 94.6% for combined systolic and diastolic BP. Conclusion: The heuristic profile of "later, lazier, and unluckier" is an intuitive and valid tool to help identify patients at greater risk for poor BP control seen in general practice.
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