Written by City News Service
Automated telephone calls urging hypertension patients to check their blood pressure were more likely to have controlled the condition than people who did not receive calls, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published this week in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension.
Researchers studied 64,773 adult Kaiser Permanente clients with high blood pressure, and about half got phone messages urging them to have their blood pressure checked at a Kaiser Permanente walk-in clinic.
Four weeks after Kaiser Permanente delivered the telephone messages, 32.5 percent of the patients who received automated calls had controlled hypertension, while only 23.7 percent of patients who did not receive a call had controlled hypertension.
"This study provides new information about how an automated telephone message can lead to improved blood pressure control among patients with hypertension," said lead author Teresa Harrison, a research associate at Kaiser Permanente Southern California's Department of Research Evaluation in Pasadena. "We found that this simple outreach program can improve blood pressure control, especially among patients with multiple chronic conditions."
Hypertension is a significant and growing public health challenge in the United States, affecting about 30 percent of adults 18 and older -- and the numbers have been growing, according to the CDC. The condition is associated with coronary artery disease, kidney failure and stroke.