Free online program helps reduce blood pressure
- A web-based tracking program helped people reduce their blood pressure.
- The program, called Heart360 is a tool designed by the American Heart Association to help people manage their risk for heart disease.
EMBARGOED UNTIL 3 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET, Tuesday, March 5, 2013
DALLAS, March 5, 2013– People with high blood pressure enrolled in a clinical pharmacist-led web-based monitoring program were more likely to lower their pressure to recommended level than people who did not use the program.
The study was published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.
The study, led by David J. Magid, M.D., M.P.H., at Kaiser Permanente Colorado in Denver, followed people who use the American Heart Association’s Heart360 program. Heart360 is a free, online tool for tracking heart health where users can upload blood pressure data from their home blood pressure machines and send it to their health providers. Heart360 also provides patients with educational information and allows them to track progress towards their health goals.
Two groups of patients with high blood pressure were compared. One group of 175 patients used home blood pressure monitoring with Heart360. Their care was managed by clinical pharmacists trained to monitor and adjust medications. A second group of 173 patients received usual care, in which they were advised that their blood pressure was high, received written educational materials on managing high blood pressure, diet, and physical activity, and were instructed to follow-up with their primary care physician.
At 6 months, 54 percent of the Heart360/home monitoring group had reached their goal blood pressure, while 35 percent of the usual care group did. The benefits of Heart360/home blood pressure monitoring were even greater in people with diabetes or chronic kidney.
Uncontrolled hypertension is associated with an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, and congestive heart failure. Lowering blood pressure to recommended levels has been shown to reduce the occurrence of these events. Of the 76 million U.S. adults with hypertension, more than half have uncontrolled blood pressure.
Co-authors are Kari L. Olson, B.Sc. (Pharm), PharmD; Sarah J. Billups, PharmD; Nicole M. Wagner, M.P.H.; Ella E. Lyons, M.S. and Beverly A. Kroner, PharmD. Author disclosures and sources of funding are on the manuscript.
More high blood pressure information is at Heart.org/HBP.
Find out more about this free cardiovascular risk monitoring program at Heart360.org.
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Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.
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