A new study has found that individuals taking part in a pharmacist-led telemonitoring program to control high blood pressure had approximately half as many cardiovascular events as those monitored through routine office visits, according to an American Heart Association press release.

Data were used from 450 people with uncontrolled high blood pressure across 16 clinics in Minnesota, with the participants split into 2 groups. After 6 months of using at-home monitors and being guided over the phone by pharmacists, participants had lower blood pressure for 2 years compared with the group who received routine care through their primary care physician, according to the study.

After 5 years, 5.3% of the remote care group had heart attacks, strokes, stent placements, or heart failure hospitalizations compared with 10.4% for the routine care group. Patients reported their likeness of having support from a trusted health care professional, rapid feedback, and adjustments to their treatment with someone to be accountable to, according to the study authors.

In addition, the study showed that the savings could be up to $1900 per patient over 5 years; however, the researchers warn that the 5-year findings for a reduction in cardiovascular events fell “just short of statistical significance,” meaning it could have been due to chance. The study authors were still surprised that the figures on serious cardiovascular events pointed so strongly to benefit of the telemonitoring intervention.

Based on the study findings, a widespread adoption of the telemonitoring model might help US adults with uncontrolled high blood pressure avoid serious cardiovascular events and reduce health care costs, according to the study authors. Further, they recommend future studies to determine how to increase the number of patients engaged in home blood pressure monitoring over many years and to measure cardiovascular risk factors and cardiovascular events over that extended period.

High blood pressure telemonitoring might help cut heart attack, stroke rate in half. American Heart Association. https://www.heart.org/en/news/2020/08/31/high-blood-pressure-telemonitoring-might-help-cut-heart-attack-stroke-rate-in-half. Published August 31, 2020. Accessed September 2, 2020.