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New Care Model Improves Blood Pressure Control

Model combines patient Web services, home monitoring and pharmacist-assisted care

TUESDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with uncontrolled hypertension can achieve blood pressure control by participating in a new model of care that combines patient Web services, home blood pressure monitoring and pharmacist-assisted care, researchers report in the June 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Beverly B. Green, M.D., of the Group Health Center for Health Studies in Seattle, and colleagues randomly assigned 778 adults aged 25 to 75 with uncontrolled essential hypertension and Internet access to one of three groups: usual care (group 1); home blood pressure monitoring and secure patient Web site training only (group 2); or home blood pressure monitoring and secure patient Web site training plus pharmacist care management delivered through Web communications (group 3).

After one year, the researchers found that a significantly higher percentage of group 3 had controlled blood pressure (56 percent) compared to groups 1 and 2 (31 percent and 36 percent, respectively). Among patients who had a baseline systolic blood pressure of 160 mm Hg or higher, they also found that group 3 had significantly higher net reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure (-13.2 mm Hg and -4.6 mm Hg, respectively).

"While certainly more work will be needed to refine these models, the future of blood pressure management has taken a significant turn for the better," state the authors of an accompanying editorial. "By finding new tools, ensuring appropriate use by patients and clinicians, and integrating these systems into clinical practice, it will be possible to achieve more effective and cost-effective blood pressure control, and ultimately to save lives."

An author of the study reports receiving grant funding from Sanofi-Aventis.

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