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Cost effectiveness of blood pressure device evaluated
Date:10/15/2009

A study conducted by the University of Rochester Medical Center demonstrates that, for certain patient populations, an experimental device that lowers blood pressure may be a cost effective treatment. The implantable device, called Rheos, is in advanced stages of testing for individuals with drug resistant hypertension.

The study which appears this month in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension used data from two large population-based studies and compared the incidence of adverse health events such as stroke and heart attack for groups of individuals with and without the blood pressure lowering benefit of the device. Researchers then projected the health care costs associated with those events over a patient's lifetime. The results show that if Rheos continues to perform at a level consistent the initial findings in ongoing clinical trials, then the device is a cost effective way to control hypertension.

"Our goal was to determine whether or not the benefit of Rheos would offset the higher upfront costs," said Kate C. Young, Ph.D., MPH, an instructor in the departments of Surgery and Neurology at the University of Rochester and lead author of the study. "What we found is that the device's cost effectiveness is dependent upon the degree to which it can reduce blood pressure and the starting point of the patient."

The Rheos High Blood Pressure or Hypertension Therapy System which is being developed by CVRx, Inc. of Minneapolis consists of a battery-powered implantable generator, which is inserted under the skin near the collarbone, and two carotid sinus leads, which run from the generator to the left and right carotid sinus in the neck.

The device activates the carotid baroreceptors a key regulator of the body's cardiovascular system which prompts signals that are interpreted by the brain as a rise in blood pressure. The brain then works to counteract this perceived rise in blood pressure by sending signals
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Contact: Mark Michaud
mark_michaud@urmc.rochester.edu
585-273-4790
University of Rochester Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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