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High blood pressure tips needed

17th February 2011

UK researchers say high blood pressure patients would benefit from personal advice sessions.

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A team from the University of East Anglia in Norfolk highlighted concerns that many of the 10 million people in the UK with high blood pressure - or hypertension - fail to take their medication.

Their findings published in the Journal of Human Hypertension showed a 14% reduction in blood pressure when people took part in "adherence therapy".

While high blood pressure, which is one of the leading causes of heart disease and stroke, can be treated with medication, the research team suggested that as many as half of patients do not take their medication in the right way because they are concerned about side effects or simply do not follow the correct instructions.

In the study of 136 patients in Jordan, half took their medication normally while the rest had 20-minute face-to-face sessions weekly for seven weeks where they were given individual advice.

The patients given adherence therapy took 97% of their medication, while those who continued normally took only 71%. On average, systolic blood pressure dropped by nearly 14% from 164.5mm Hg to 141.4mm Hg.

Professor Richard Gray at the School of Nursing and Midwifery at University of East Anglia, said: “Our findings suggest a clear clinical benefit in these patient-centred sessions.

“Tackling the widespread failure to take medication correctly would lead to a major reduction in stroke and heart disease. If adherence therapy were a new drug it would be hailed as a potentially major advance in hypertension treatment.”

 

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