Research Highlights:

  • Minority stroke survivors experience better blood pressure control when lifestyle counseling by phone from a nurse is added to home blood pressure telemonitoring.
  • Improved blood pressure control could lower strokes and stroke deaths in blacks and Hispanics.

Embargoed until 11:15 a.m. Pacific Time /2:15 p.m. Eastern Time, Friday, Feb. 21, 2020

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 21, 2020 — Adding phone-based lifestyle counseling to home blood pressure telemonitoring is an effective strategy to improve long-term blood pressure control among minority stroke survivors with uncontrolled high blood pressure, according to late breaking science presented today at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2020. The conference, Feb. 19-21 in Los Angeles, is a world premier meeting for researchers and clinicians dedicated to the science of stroke and brain health.

Uncontrolled high blood pressure, or hypertension, is a major predictor of racial disparities in stroke outcomes in the United States. Improving blood pressure control among minority stroke survivors is key to secondary stroke prevention. Although home blood pressure telemonitoring and lifestyle counseling by nurses have proven effective in controlling blood pressure, this study is the first time this strategy has been tested specifically among minority stroke survivors.

Researchers randomly assigned 450 black and Hispanic stroke survivors with uncontrolled blood pressure (average age 62; 51% black; 44% women) to home blood pressure telemonitoring alone with monthly feedback to primary care providers, or home blood pressure telemonitoring plus telephone-based counseling by nurses. The nurses counseled patients via telephone on lifestyle behaviors and strategies to improve their blood pressure and reported the blood pressure readings to the patient’s doctor.

After 12 months, patients who received the home blood pressure telemonitoring plus lifestyle counseling by nurses, experienced a 14-point reduction in their systolic blood pressure, while those who received only home blood pressure telemonitoring had only a 5-point drop in their systolic blood pressure. 

“The magnitude of reduction in systolic blood pressure for those who received lifestyle counseling and support was much larger than we expected,” said Gbenga Ogedegbe, M.D., M.P.H., lead study author, director, Division of Health and Behavior and the Center for Healthful Behavior Change in the Department of Population Health at NYU Grossman School of Medicine in New York City. “The reduction in systolic blood pressure of 14 mmHg among these patients would be expected to translate to at least a 20% decrease in stroke deaths and 34% fewer secondary strokes. These are pretty robust findings.”

Ogedegbe said, “The results suggest that hypertension management in patients at high risk for recurrent stroke should involve telephone-based lifestyle counseling by a non-physician health worker coupled with home blood pressure telemonitoring. The role of the nurse case manager could be played by the patient’s pharmacist or other trained non-physician health workers.”

The list of study authors and disclosures are available in the abstract.  The study was funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Additional Resources:

Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Stroke Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect Association policy or position. The Association makes no representation or warranty 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

The American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference (ISC) is the world’s premier meeting dedicated to the science of stroke and brain health. ISC 2020 will be held February 19-21 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in California. The 2 ½-day conference features more than 1,600 compelling scientific presentations in 21 categories that emphasize basic, clinical and translational science for health care professionals and researchers. These science and other clinical presentations will provide attendees with a better understanding of stroke and brain health to help improve prevention, treatment and outcomes for the more than 800,000 Americans who have a stroke each year. Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the U.S. Worldwide, cerebrovascular accidents (stroke) are the second leading cause of death and the third leading cause of disability, according to the World Health Organization. Engage in the International Stroke Conference on social media via #ISC20.

About the American Stroke Association

The American Stroke Association is a relentless force for a world with fewer strokes and longer, healthier lives. We team with millions of volunteers and donors to ensure equitable health and stroke care in all communities. We work to prevent, treat and beat stroke by funding innovative research, fighting for the public’s health, and providing lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based association was created in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


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