June 5, 2012
Dr. Jiang He will lead a study assessing a program to improve hypertension prevention and control among patients in Argentina.VIEW FULL-SIZE PHOTO
Tulane University has received a five-year, $2.1 million grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health to determine the effectiveness of a comprehensive intervention program designed to improve hypertension prevention and control among uninsured patients and their families in Argentina.
“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 Dr. Jiang He, Joseph S. Copes, M.D. Chair and Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and principal investigator of the study.
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 intervention 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, mobile phone delivery of individualized messages for hypertension prevention and control intervention will be included.
Blood pressure and other indicators will be measured as each subject enters the program, with follow-up measurements 6, 12 and 18 months later. Of primary interest to researchers is the difference in net change in blood pressure from baseline to month 18 between the intervention and control groups among all study participants. Researchers also will assess the proportion of patients with adequate blood pressure control, as well as the cost-effectiveness of the program.
“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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