Home-monitoring program helps some patients with high blood pressure take control

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NEW YORK — It’s known as the silent killer. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke, affecting nearly half of all adults in the U.S.
Now new research finds a home-monitoring program may help some patients like 72-year-old Tim Kolojay get the condition under control.

Kolojay told CBS News he’s struggled for about three decades to lower his high blood pressure.

“I’ve been on different medications for many, many a year.”

Now, researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital have developed a program that can help people manage their blood pressure at home.

For the study, patients wore a cuff with Bluetooth capability to measure their blood pressure twice a day.  The information was sent directly to the patient’s electronic health record, and a trained patient navigator adjusted the patient’s medication every two weeks until their blood pressure was under control.

“We want to make sure we find the right regimen for them that is realistic, that they’ll stick to and help them maintain that healthy blood pressure,” said patient navigator Victoria Liquori.

Researchers found the home program helped about 80 percent of patients get their high blood pressure in check in just seven weeks.

“Blood pressure fell very significantly in most of the patients and very, very quickly,” said Dr. Naomi Fisher with Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Kolojay’s case was more difficult, but after four months of monitoring and tweaks to his medication, his blood pressure went down to normal levels.

“If they weren’t monitoring me on a daily basis, God knows where I would be with medications.”

It’s estimated 100 million Americans have high blood pressure.

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