Free online program helps reduce blood pressure

March 5, 2013, American Heart Association

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 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 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, , and . 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.

Explore further: Home blood pressure monitoring may not benefit patients with stroke and hypertension

More information: 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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