HealthPartners Institute conducted a study that explored a more user-friendly approach to controlling high blood pressure, which is known to be a significant risk factor for serious health conditions such as heart attacks and strokes.
Almost half of the adults in the U.S. have high blood pressure, and a large number struggle to keep it under control.
This study aimed to find out whether monitoring blood pressure at home could help manage high blood pressure more effectively. It involved 450 participants, all with high blood pressure, from 16 primary care clinics in Minnesota.
They were divided into two groups. One group, consisting of 228 participants, used telemonitoring—a way to check blood pressure at home and share the results with a pharmacist remotely.
The other 222 participants received usual care from their primary health care providers.
Breaking it Down: Telemonitoring vs. Routine Care
In the telemonitoring group, participants could measure their blood pressure at home and then electronically send the readings to a pharmacist.
The pharmacist would review the readings and work with the participants to make necessary adjustments to their medication or lifestyle to better control their blood pressure.
In contrast, the routine primary care group received standard care and did not monitor their blood pressure at home.
They had regular check-ups where health care providers would measure their blood pressure and adjust treatment as needed.
The results of this study were quite revealing. The group that used telemonitoring experienced fewer serious cardiovascular events such as non-fatal heart attacks, strokes, and heart failure hospitalizations, with only 15 events among 10 patients, representing a 5.3% event rate.
On the other hand, the routine primary care group had 26 serious cardiovascular events among 19 patients, a 10.4% event rate.
This substantial difference highlighted the potential benefits of at-home monitoring in reducing the risks associated with high blood pressure.
Long-Term Effects and Care Costs
The study also compared the costs associated with blood pressure-related care and found potential for cost reduction with the adoption of the telemonitoring model.
It monitored participants at different intervals—enrollment, 6 months, 12 months, 18 months, and 5 years—keeping track of any cardiovascular events and the associated care costs.
The Potential of Telemonitoring
The researchers believe that widespread adoption of home blood pressure monitoring could significantly help U.S. adults with uncontrolled high blood pressure avoid serious health risks and reduce healthcare costs.
Future studies are suggested to explore how to increase the number of patients using home blood pressure monitoring over extended periods and measure the impact on cardiovascular risk factors and events.
Background Information on High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, if left unchecked, can lead to severe health problems. It’s the force of the blood against the walls of the arteries, and when this force is too high over time, it can damage the arteries and lead to heart disease, stroke, and other serious conditions.
Keeping blood pressure under control is crucial, usually defined as below 130 mm Hg systolic (top number) or 80 mm Hg diastolic (bottom number) for adults.
This study provides hope for a future where high blood pressure is effectively managed from the comfort of one’s home, reducing the risk of life-threatening conditions.
It not only offers an alternative approach to routine primary care but also emphasizes the importance of regular monitoring and timely intervention in managing high blood pressure.
For those interested in heart health and high blood pressure, further reading on how various medicines and lifestyle changes impact blood pressure is recommended, as is staying informed about the latest studies and findings in heart health research.
If you care about blood pressure, please read studies about blood pressure drug that may increase risk of sudden cardiac arrest, and these teas could help reduce high blood pressure.
For more information about health, please see recent studies about nutrient that could strongly lower high blood pressure, and results showing this novel antioxidant may help reverse blood vessels aging by 20 years.
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