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Medicineworld.org: Changing the way doctors treat high blood pressure

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Changing the way doctors treat high blood pressure




A simplified, step-care protocol for treating hypertension was more effective than guidelines-based practice in helping people reduce their blood pressure, as per late-breaking clinical trial results presented at the American Heart Associations Scientific Sessions 2007.

The Simplified Treatment Intervention to Control High blood pressure (STITCH) trial was a study of 2,104 patients with hypertension (hypertension) at 45 family practices in southwestern Ontario, Canada. In order to increase the number of people with high blood pressure who reduce their blood pressure to goal levels, scientists wanted to see if there was a simpler way to direct therapy for high blood pressure than by following national guidelines for optimal management of blood pressure.



Changing the way doctors treat high blood pressure

The complexity of existing guidelines for the management of high blood pressure could be a barrier to effective treatment, said Ross D Feldman, M.D., R.W. Gunton Professor of Therapeutics, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada. To examine this question, we conducted a cluster randomization trial. Family practices were randomly assigned to implement a simplified step-care algorithm (STITCH-care) or Guidelines-based care for the management of hypertension.

The STITCH algorithm consisted of 4 steps: 1) initiate treatment with ACE-inhibitor/diuretic or Angiotensin receptor blocker/diuretic combination 2) up-titrate combination treatment to the highest does 3) add a calcium channel blocker and up-titrate 4) add one of the non-first line antihypertensive agents. In the Guidelines-care arm physicians were educated on the use of existing national guidelines of the Canadian High blood pressure Education Program, which list 12 options for initial treatment depending on the type of high blood pressure and co-existing medical conditions (very similar to the range of options outlined in the US JNC guidelines).

The proportion of patients who reduced blood pressure to the target level was higher in the STITCH-care group (65 percent) compared with the Guidelines-care group (53 percent). Average systolic blood-pressure (the top number in a blood pressure measurement) was reduced by 23 mmHg in the STITCH-care arm, in comparison to a lesser reduction of 18 mmHg in the Guidelines-care arm. In addition, diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) was reduced by 10 mmHg in the STITCH-care patients vs. 8 mmHg in the Guidelines-care group.

Assignment to the STITCH-care arm increased the chance of reaching the optimal blood pressure target by over 20 percent, Feldman said. We think that use of a simplified algorithm for the therapy of high blood pressure is implementable, accepted by family physicians and results in improved blood pressure control rates. This return to step-care may be an important way forward for the therapy of high blood pressure and may be a paradigm for the management of a range of chronic diseases.


Posted by: Daniel    Source




Did you know?
A simplified, step-care protocol for treating hypertension was more effective than guidelines-based practice in helping people reduce their blood pressure, as per late-breaking clinical trial results presented at the American Heart Associations Scientific Sessions 2007. The Simplified Treatment Intervention to Control High blood pressure (STITCH) trial was a study of 2,104 patients with hypertension (hypertension) at 45 family practices in southwestern Ontario, Canada. In order to increase the number of people with high blood pressure who reduce their blood pressure to goal levels, scientists wanted to see if there was a simpler way to direct therapy for high blood pressure than by following national guidelines for optimal management of blood pressure.

Medicineworld.org: Changing the way doctors treat high blood pressure

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