Web-based counseling lowers blood pressure as much as meds: study

March 19, 2017
The average blood pressure of those taking part in the study began at around 140/90 mmHg, meaning they had what is clinically known as stage 1 hypertension

People who received regular lifestyle counseling online were able to lower their blood pressure as much as a medication would, researchers said Saturday.

Their study involved 264 people with and an average age of 58.

The subjects' average blood pressure began at around 140/90 mmHg, meaning they had what is clinically known as stage 1 hypertension.

Most were already taking at least one drug to cut their blood pressure.

Patients enrolled through the website of the Heart and Stroke Association of Canada and were randomly assigned to either an e-counseling group or a control group.

Both groups received emails during the year-long trial, first weekly, then monthly.

Those in the e-counseling group were "provided links to online multimedia and interactive tools to increase motivation and skills to begin and sustain a heart-healthy lifestyle," the study said.

"These included video clips featuring characters discussing their own high blood pressure diagnosis and efforts to make lifestyle changes, as well as tools for tracking diet and level of physical activity."

The control group saw more generic information about heart-healthy living.

By the end of the study period, the more engaging online content seemed to have had an effect, and patients in that group reduced their systolic blood pressure—the higher number in a blood-pressure reading—by 10 millimeters of mercury (mmHg).

That was a statistically significant difference compared to the , which saw a 6 mmHg reduction.

"The electronic counseling intervention had an effect similar to that of adding an additional blood-pressure-lowering medication," said lead study author Robert Nolan, associate professor at the University of Toronto.

"We think this counseling intervention can complement and optimize the effectiveness of medical therapy to reduce high ."

The study was released at American College of Cardiology's annual meeting in Washington.

Explore further: For some, high blood pressure associated with better survival

Related Stories

For some, high blood pressure associated with better survival

March 8, 2017
Patients with both Type 2 diabetes and acute heart failure face a significantly lower risk of death but a higher risk of heart failure-related hospitalizations if they had high systolic blood pressure on discharge from the ...

Yoga reduces blood pressure in patients with prehypertension

December 8, 2016
Yoga reduces blood pressure in patients with prehypertension, according to a study presented at the 68th Annual Conference of the Cardiological Society of India (CSI).

Lower systolic blood pressure reduces risk of hypertension complication

October 13, 2015
Lowering systolic blood pressure below the currently recommended target can reduce the risk of left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), the most common complication of high blood pressure, according to new research.

Caution urged in the use of blood pressure lowering treatment for heart disease patients

August 30, 2016
Caution has been urged in the use of blood pressure lowering treatment for heart disease patients after a study in more than 22 000 patients with coronary artery disease found that too low blood pressure was associated with ...

Treat 'normal' blood pressure to save lives, study urges

December 24, 2015
Millions of lives could be saved by giving blood pressure-lowering drugs to people at risk of heart attack and stroke, even if they have normal pressure, researchers said Thursday.

Lowering systolic blood pressure would save more than 100,000 lives per year

September 15, 2016
Intensive treatment to lower systolic (top number) blood pressure to below 120 would save more than 100,000 lives per year in the United States, according to a study led by Loyola University Chicago researcher Holly Kramer, ...

Recommended for you

'Smart stent' detects narrowing of arteries

June 19, 2018
For every three individuals who have had a stent implanted to keep clogged arteries open and prevent a heart attack, at least one will experience restenosis—the renewed narrowing of the artery due to plaque buildup or scarring—which ...

Marriage may protect against heart disease / stroke and associated risk of death

June 18, 2018
Marriage may protect against the development of heart disease/stroke as well as influencing who is more likely to die of it, suggests a pooled analysis of the available data, published online in the journal Heart.

Deaths from cardiac arrest are misclassified, overestimated

June 18, 2018
Forty percent of deaths attributed to cardiac arrest are not sudden or unexpected, and nearly half of the remainder are not arrhythmic—the only situation in which CPR and defibrillators are effective—according to an analysis ...

Tick-borne meat sensitivity linked to heart disease

June 15, 2018
University of Virginia School of Medicine researchers have linked sensitivity to an allergen in red meat—a sensitivity spread by tick bites—with a buildup of fatty plaque in the arteries of the heart. This buildup may ...

Tobacco aside, e-cigarette flavorings may harm blood vessels

June 14, 2018
Flavor additives used in electronic cigarettes and related tobacco products could impair blood vessel function and may be an early indicator of heart damage, according to new laboratory research in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis ...

The molecules that energize babies' hearts

June 14, 2018
A metabolic process that provides heart muscle with energy fails to mature in newborns with thickened heart walls, according to a Japan–Canada research team.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

dirk_bruere
not rated yet Mar 20, 2017
Really? meds have dropped my BP 60mm

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.