Tulane to test hypertension control program in Argentina

With a five-year, $2.1 million grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, Tulane epidemiologist Dr. Jiang He will lead a study to determine the effectiveness of a comprehensive intervention program to improve hypertension prevention and control among uninsured patients and their families in Argentina.

Dr. Jiang He
Tulane epidemiologist Dr. Jiang He says results from a high blood pressure study in Argentina may be used in primary care settings and healthcare systems elsewhere. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)

“Despite advances in hypertension prevention and treatment research, the prevalence of hypertension is high and increasing, while the proportions of hypertensive patients who are aware, treated and controlled are low in populations, especially in low- and middle-income countries,” says He, who holds the Joseph S. Copes, MD, Chair in the Department of Epidemiology at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.  

The trial will recruit 1,888 study participants from 16 primary care clinics in Argentina. Eight clinics will be randomly assigned to the comprehensive intervention group, and eight to the usual care group. Patients with high blood pressure and their adult family members will be enrolled.  

The 18-month program will include education and home-based intervention among patients and their families, including lifestyle modification and blood pressure monitoring by community health workers. In addition, it will include mobile phone delivery of individualized messages for hypertension prevention and control intervention.

“This implementation research project has a high impact in public health, because it will generate urgently needed data on effective, practical and sustainable intervention programs aimed at reducing blood pressure-related disease burden,” says He. “The results from the study may be directly used in other primary care settings and healthcare systems in low- and middle-income countries for hypertension prevention and control.”  












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