AHA: Phone Intervention May Improve BP Control

But telemonitoring does not improve outcomes in patients recently hospitalized for heart failure

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 17 (HealthDay News) -- A telephone-based behavioral intervention appears effective in improving hypertension control, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2010, held from Nov. 13 to 17 in Chicago. According to another study published online Nov. 16 in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with presentation at the conference, telemonitoring does not improve outcomes in individuals recently hospitalized for heart failure.

In the first study, Sundar Natarajan, M.D., of the VA New York Harbor Healthcare System in New York City, and colleagues randomized 533 patients with uncontrolled blood pressure (BP) despite treatment with antihypertensive drugs to a stage-matched intervention (SMI) or a health education intervention (HEI) -- both delivered by phone -- or usual care (UC) to improve BP control. The investigators found that the six-month BP control rates were 62.3 percent in the SMI group, 52.4 percent in the HEI group, and 47.2 percent in the UC group.

In the second study, Sarwat I. Chaudhry, M.D., of Yale University in New Haven, Conn., and colleagues randomized 1,653 individuals recently hospitalized for heart failure to telemonitoring or usual care. The rate of readmission for any reason or death from any cause within 180 days did not differ significantly between the two groups. Also, there were no significant between-group differences in the rate of hospitalization for heart failure, number of hospitalizations, and number of days in the hospital.

"The results indicate the importance of a thorough, independent evaluation of disease-management strategies before their adoption," Chaudhry and colleagues conclude.

Abstract - Chaudhry
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