Urine test helps with monitoring non-adherence to blood pressure lowering pills

May 19, 2017
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

University of Manchester researchers together with their UK and overseas collaborators have found out that more than one third of 1,400 people with high blood pressure have not been taking their blood pressure medication.

High blood pressure is the single most important risk factor for health loss and globally, and although treatment is proven to be effective, target blood pressures are only achieved in 40-50% of patients. This is likely to be largely caused by high numbers of patients not taking their medicines correctly, or at all.

The scientists have used a mass-spectrometry technique to examine blood and urine samples from almost 1,400 people in the UK and Czech Republic.

They found that non-adherence to the blood pressure lowering drugs was high at 41.6% in the UK and 31.5% in the Czech Republic. Furthermore, with each additional prescription, the rate of non-adherence increased by 85% and 77% respectively.

Professor Maciej Tomaszewski from The University of Manchester, who led the study, said: "We suspected that some patients haven't' been taking their medications on a regular basis but this analysis shows how high that figure is.

"Clearly, the more blood pressure lowering drugs are prescribed, the higher the risk that the patients will not be taking them on a regular basis. We also showed that diuretics are particularly poorly taken."

The results from this analysis, show that four easy-to-collect parameters: patients' age, sex, the number of blood pressure lowering medications and the diuretics together can provide a good measure of the risk of not taking the medications on a regular basis.

The researchers believe that in the future they can develop even better formulae to estimate the risk of not taking blood pressure lowering drugs without a need of a urine/ analysis.

This will be particularly useful in countries with limited resources, as Professor Tomaszewski explained. "Not all countries will have sufficient expertise and the financial capacity to invest in technology that we are using."

Professor Tomaszewski's research team has just been awarded £750,000 by the British Heart Foundation to further the understanding of non-adherence to antihypertensive treatment.

Professor Tomaszewski said: "We are thrilled by this generous award from the British Heart Foundation. Our collaborative OUTREACH study brings together the key UK centres and researchers in the field of hypertension to examine how our urine test can help taking their lowering medications on a regular basis."

Explore further: Only 1 in 5 patients seeking specialist for resistant HBP take meds as prescribed

More information: Pankaj Gupta et al. Risk Factors for Nonadherence to Antihypertensive TreatmentNovelty and Significance, Hypertension (2017). DOI: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.116.08729

Related Stories

Take your blood pressure meds before bed

October 24, 2011

It's better to take blood pressure-lowering medications before bed rather than first thing in the morning, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology (JASN). The ...

Recommended for you

Patching up a broken heart

June 19, 2017

It is almost impossible for an injured heart to fully mend itself. Within minutes of being deprived of oxygen – as happens during a heart attack when arteries to the heart are blocked – the heart's muscle cells start ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Osiris1
not rated yet May 20, 2017
It is so simple. Just a li'l blue pill. No not that biggg blue viagra pill that cost the drug hoggs a buck to make and rakes in over 50 bucks a pill for a profiteering greed rate of 5,000% Hint guys, the 100 mg pill is the same price as the 50mg pill. Just get a pill cutter and double your pills with the scrip for 5 ea 100mg's instead of the smaller bugger you profit fer the hogs ones. That said, take your blood pressure pill now before you blow your stack thinking about how much money you wasted on the little viagras.

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.