It is a great honour for the TASMIN-SR trial team to have our work recognised by the RCGP - the award is testament to the efforts put in by all those involved, as well as the 56 general practices we worked with, to recruit and look after patients into this trial.
- Professor Richard McManus, University of Oxford.
Research to show how beneficial it can be for people to measure their own blood pressure (BP) and adjust their medication accordingly from home has been awarded a Royal College of General Practitioners Annual Research Paper of the Year category award.
Published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA), the research led by Professor Richard McManus in Oxford University’s Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences hypertension group involved researchers from across the Universities of Cambridge, Birmingham, Central Lancashire, Southampton and University College London in the UK, and from the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute and the University of British Columbia in Canada.
The international team demonstrated that older people at high risk of heart disease and stroke, who take control of managing their own hypertension, can achieve significantly lower BP after 12 months compared with those managed by their general practitioner. Those who self-managed had lowered their BP by 9.2/3.4mmHg, which would be expected to reduce stroke risk by around 30% if sustained.
The randomized controlled trial of 552 patients with an average age of 70, high BP and pre-existing cardiovascular disease, diabetes or chronic kidney disease involved patients taking their own readings twice each morning for the first week of every month. By following an individualised management plan, they were able to request additional medication from their GP without the need for consultation.
The RCGP research paper of the year award is presented each year across six categories to recognise an individual or group of researchers who have undertaken and published an exceptional piece of research relating to general practice or primary care.
Commenting on the award, Professor Richard McManus said:
“Controlling blood pressure is a key target in reducing the incidence of heart disease and stroke in our population. Our findings show the benefit of enabling patients of all ages to take control of managing their hypertension without the need for regular trips to see their GP – even if they have previously had a stroke, heart attack, diabetes or kidney disease. It is a great honour for the TASMIN-SR trial team to have our work recognised by the RCGP - the award is testament to the efforts put in by all those involved, as well as the 56 general practices we worked with, to recruit and look after patients into this trial.”
Raised BP is the most important risk factor for heart disease and stroke globally, and despite more than 7 million people in England and Wales receiving treatment for hypertension, BP in at least one third of these remains high. Previous research has shown that lower BP can be achieved through self-monitoring and self-management in people with uncomplicated hypertension, so the researchers aimed to investigate whether this would also apply to older, high-risk patients.
The research was funded by the National Institute for Health Research School for Primary Care Research.