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Adherence course reduces hypertension
Date:2/16/2011

A high proportion of patients with high blood pressure are failing to take their medication properly and would benefit clinically from a course of 'adherence therapy', according to new research from the University of East Anglia (UEA).

High blood pressure or hypertension is one of the major cardiovascular diseases worldwide. It leads to stroke and heart disease and costs more than $300 billion each year. Around a quarter of the adult population is affected including 10 million people in the UK.

Around half of patients with hypertension fail to reduce their blood pressure because they are not taking their prescribed medication correctly. Some cease taking their medication altogether, others only take some of it, and others do not follow the instructions to take their medicine after food, for example.

The reasons for this non-adherence are complex and include ambivalence about taking drugs, concerns over side effects, and complexity of treatement regimes. Previous attempts to improve adherence with information leaflets, monthly outpatient visits, reminders and self-monitoring have been shown to be mostly ineffective.

The UEA resesarchers studied 136 patients with high blood pressure in three outpatient clinics in Jordan. Half were given a course of seven weekly 'adherence therapy' sessions and half continued with their usual treatment. The 20-minute face-to-face sessions allowed a trained clinician to provide tailored information about the illness and treatment, and explore the patient's individual beliefs, fears and lifestyle.

Published today in the Journal of Human Hypertension, the results show that the patients given adherence therapy took 97 per cent of their medications (compared with only 71 per cent for those given treatment as usual) and, on average, reduced their blood pressure by around 14 per cent taking it to just above the healthy range.

Lead author Prof Richard Gray of UEA's Schoo
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Contact: Simon Dunford
s.dunford@uea.ac.uk
44-160-359-2203
University of East Anglia
Source:Eurekalert

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