What is it about?

Most local health departments (LHDs) reduced blood pressure (BP) screening services during COVID-19. Service reduction was more common among LHDs serving large populations and LHDs with local or shared governance structure. Most LHDs did not name people with chronic conditions as a priority group to serve during the early COVID-19 response. This may have been due to competing public health priorities (such as COVID-19 contract tracing, COVID-19 communications, etc.), limited funding, lack of staff capacity, or perhaps because it was perceived that other organizations in the community were providing these services.

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Why is it important?

COVID-19 has worsened the already unequal distribution of chronic disease risk in the United States. BP screening is only one form of prevention, but still is critical for the public health of a community. LHDs are uniquely positioned to address chronic disease because of their knowledge of local needs and context, relationships with key health and community partners; and capacity to provide or facilitate access to low-barrier preventive care to the community.

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This page is a summary of: Interruptions in Routine Blood Pressure Screening Services Among Local Health Departments During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, January 2023, Wolters Kluwer Health, DOI: 10.1097/phh.0000000000001680.
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