Home monitors, internet help blood pressure

June 24, 2008 3:14:35 PM PDT
Nearly one out of 3 adults in the U.S. has high blood pressure, and more are not reciving adequate treatment to get it under control.

Home is where the heart is - and according to a new study, it is also a good place to get high blood pressure under control.

A study in Seattle, Washington, showed that monitoring blood pressure at home, combined with an online link to a registered pharmacist can bring high blood pressure down. 800 men and women with high blood pressure were divided into three groups. One group received the usual care. Two groups were given a home blood pressure monitor, and trained to measure their pressure 4 times a week. One group was also paired with the pharmacists.

The pharmacists provided support for the patients. They helped them work on diet and exercise, and made adjustments to their medications.

At the end of the year-long experiment, 56 per cent of the patients who received the home monitoring, and the communications with pharmacists had their blood pressure under control.

Those patients with more severe hypertension, which is usually harder to control, actually did the best. They were three times more likely to have their pressure under control.

The study was published in this week's edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association.