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Contact: Julia Chapman, 914-740-2147,
Blood Pressure Control in African Americans with Hypertension Improves with Disease Management Counseling

New Rochelle, NY, May 18, 2010—Intensive disease management counseling and education provided over the telephone by a nurse trained in cardiac care and cross-cultural care, combined with home blood pressure (BP) monitoring, led to better BP control than home monitoring alone among African Americans with hypertension, according to a study published in a recent issue of Population Health Management, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. The article is available free online.

African Americans have an increased prevalence of high BP and are at greater risk of cardiovascular and kidney disease associated with poorly controlled hypertension. Troyen Brennan, MD, MPH, from Aetna, in Hartford, CT, and colleagues from Health & Technology Vector, Inc. (Hartford), and the Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, conducted a prospective, randomized controlled study of 485 African Americans with hypertension who were enrolled in a national health plan.

BP control strategies provided to the control group consisted only of home BP monitoring, whereas the intervention group received telephone follow-up and lifestyle and diet counseling provided by a nurse who had received cultural competency training, in addition to educational materials and home BP monitoring.

The results are reported in the article “Disease Management to Promote Blood Pressure Control Among African Americans.” They demonstrate significantly lower mean systolic BP measurements (123.6 vs. 126.7 mm Hg) in the intervention group. The intervention group was also 50% more likely to have well-controlled BP and 46% more likely to check their BP reading at least once a week, suggesting that a well-designed disease management strategy can improve compliance and self-management of hypertension.

“Hypertension is a costly epidemic in the black community and this study will help policy makers to confront the challenge,” says Population Health Management Editor-in-Chief David B. Nash, MD, MBA, Dean, Jefferson School of Population Health.