Researchers have become increasingly aware that when patients with hypertension appear to be "nonresponders" to blood pressure–lowering drugs, the problem may be caused by noncompliance. So how can physicians take this into account when treating people with hypertension?
One strategy that can make a difference, according to a study of more than 5000 patients, is an integrated program that combines physician and patient education, close follow-up, home blood pressure monitoring, lifestyle changes, and once-daily drug therapy. Csaba Farsang, MD, DSc, and colleagues in a joint project of the Hungarian Society of Hypertension and Knoll AG (now part of Abbott Laboratories) found that after 6 months in the "Manage It Well!" program, patients' blood pressure control improved substantially. The proportion of patients with well-controlled blood pressure (those with levels of <140/90 mm Hg) increased from about 3% to 41%; average blood pressure decreased from about 168/97 mm Hg to 139/83 mm Hg.
Stephenson J. Hungarian Hypertension. JAMA. 2002;287(18):2353. doi:10.1001/jama.287.18.2353-JWM20005-4-1