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Mixed-methods feasibility study of blood pressure self-screening for hypertension detection

BMJ Open

BMJ Publishing Group

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Abstract

Objective

To assess the feasibility of using a blood pressure (BP) self-measurement kiosk—a solid-cuff sphygmomanometer combined with technology to integrate the BP readings into patient electronic medical records— to improve hypertension detection.

Design

A concurrent mixed-methods feasibility study incorporating observational and qualitative interview components.

Setting

Two English general practitioner (GP) surgeries.

Participants

Adult patients registered at participating surgeries. Staff working at these sites.

Interventions

BP self-measurement kiosks were placed in the waiting rooms for a 12-month period between 2015 and 2016 and compared with a 12-month control period prior to installation.

Outcome measures

(1) The number of patients using the kiosk and agreeing to transfer of their data into their electronic medical records; (2) the cost of using a kiosk compared with GP/practice nurse BP screening; (3) qualitative themes regarding use of the equipment.

Results

Out of 15 624 eligible patients, only 186 (1.2%, 95% CI 1.0% to 1.4%) successfully used the kiosk to directly transfer a BP reading into their medical record. For a considerable portion of the intervention period, no readings were transferred, possibly indicating technical problems with the transfer link. A comparison of costs suggests that at least 52.6% of eligible patients would need to self-screen in order to bring costs below that of screening by GPs and practice nurses. Qualitative interviews confirmed that both patients and staff experienced technical difficulties, and used alternative methods to enter BP results into the medical record.

Conclusions

While interviewees were generally positive about checking BP in the waiting room, the electronic transfer system as tested was neither robust, effective nor likely to be a cost-effective approach, thus may not be appropriate for a primary care environment. Since most of the cost of a kiosk system lies in the transfer mechanism, a solid-cuff sphygmomanometer and manual entry of results may be a suitable alternative.

Most cited references25

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Global, regional, and national comparative risk assessment of 79 behavioural, environmental and occupational, and metabolic risks or clusters of risks, 1990–2015: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015

(2016)
Summary Background The Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2015 provides an up-to-date synthesis of the evidence for risk factor exposure and the attributable burden of disease. By providing national and subnational assessments spanning the past 25 years, this study can inform debates on the importance of addressing risks in context. Methods We used the comparative risk assessment framework developed for previous iterations of the Global Burden of Disease Study to estimate attributable deaths, disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs), and trends in exposure by age group, sex, year, and geography for 79 behavioural, environmental and occupational, and metabolic risks or clusters of risks from 1990 to 2015. This study included 388 risk-outcome pairs that met World Cancer Research Fund-defined criteria for convincing or probable evidence. We extracted relative risk and exposure estimates from randomised controlled trials, cohorts, pooled cohorts, household surveys, census data, satellite data, and other sources. We used statistical models to pool data, adjust for bias, and incorporate covariates. We developed a metric that allows comparisons of exposure across risk factors—the summary exposure value. Using the counterfactual scenario of theoretical minimum risk level, we estimated the portion of deaths and DALYs that could be attributed to a given risk. We decomposed trends in attributable burden into contributions from population growth, population age structure, risk exposure, and risk-deleted cause-specific DALY rates. We characterised risk exposure in relation to a Socio-demographic Index (SDI). Findings Between 1990 and 2015, global exposure to unsafe sanitation, household air pollution, childhood underweight, childhood stunting, and smoking each decreased by more than 25%. Global exposure for several occupational risks, high body-mass index (BMI), and drug use increased by more than 25% over the same period. All risks jointly evaluated in 2015 accounted for 57·8% (95% CI 56·6–58·8) of global deaths and 41·2% (39·8–42·8) of DALYs. In 2015, the ten largest contributors to global DALYs among Level 3 risks were high systolic blood pressure (211·8 million [192·7 million to 231·1 million] global DALYs), smoking (148·6 million [134·2 million to 163·1 million]), high fasting plasma glucose (143·1 million [125·1 million to 163·5 million]), high BMI (120·1 million [83·8 million to 158·4 million]), childhood undernutrition (113·3 million [103·9 million to 123·4 million]), ambient particulate matter (103·1 million [90·8 million to 115·1 million]), high total cholesterol (88·7 million [74·6 million to 105·7 million]), household air pollution (85·6 million [66·7 million to 106·1 million]), alcohol use (85·0 million [77·2 million to 93·0 million]), and diets high in sodium (83·0 million [49·3 million to 127·5 million]). From 1990 to 2015, attributable DALYs declined for micronutrient deficiencies, childhood undernutrition, unsafe sanitation and water, and household air pollution; reductions in risk-deleted DALY rates rather than reductions in exposure drove these declines. Rising exposure contributed to notable increases in attributable DALYs from high BMI, high fasting plasma glucose, occupational carcinogens, and drug use. Environmental risks and childhood undernutrition declined steadily with SDI; low physical activity, high BMI, and high fasting plasma glucose increased with SDI. In 119 countries, metabolic risks, such as high BMI and fasting plasma glucose, contributed the most attributable DALYs in 2015. Regionally, smoking still ranked among the leading five risk factors for attributable DALYs in 109 countries; childhood underweight and unsafe sex remained primary drivers of early death and disability in much of sub-Saharan Africa. Interpretation Declines in some key environmental risks have contributed to declines in critical infectious diseases. Some risks appear to be invariant to SDI. Increasing risks, including high BMI, high fasting plasma glucose, drug use, and some occupational exposures, contribute to rising burden from some conditions, but also provide opportunities for intervention. Some highly preventable risks, such as smoking, remain major causes of attributable DALYs, even as exposure is declining. Public policy makers need to pay attention to the risks that are increasingly major contributors to global burden. Funding Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
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Use of blood pressure lowering drugs in the prevention of cardiovascular disease: meta-analysis of 147 randomised trials in the context of expectations from prospective epidemiological studies

(2009)
Objectives To determine the quantitative efficacy of different classes of blood pressure lowering drugs in preventing coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke, and who should receive treatment. Design Meta-analysis. Data source Medline (1966-2007). Study selection Randomised trials of blood pressure lowering drugs recording CHD events and strokes. 108 trials studied differences in blood pressure between study drug and placebo (or control group not receiving the study drug) (“blood pressure difference trials”), and 46 trials compared drugs (“drug comparison trials”). Seven trials with three randomised groups fell into both categories. The results were interpreted in the context of those expected from the largest published meta-analysis of cohort studies, totalling 958 000 people. Participants 464 000 people defined into three mutually exclusive categories: participants with no history of vascular disease, a history of CHD, or a history of stroke. Results In the blood pressure difference trials β blockers had a special effect over and above that due to blood pressure reduction in preventing recurrent CHD events in people with a history of CHD: risk reduction 29% (95% confidence interval 22% to 34%) compared with 15% (11% to 19%) in trials of other drugs. The extra effect was limited to a few years after myocardial infarction, with a risk reduction of 31% compared with 13% in people with CHD with no recent infarct (P=0.04). In the other blood pressure difference trials (excluding CHD events in trials of β blockers in people with CHD), there was a 22% reduction in CHD events (17% to 27%) and a 41% (33% to 48%) reduction in stroke for a blood pressure reduction of 10 mm Hg systolic or 5 mm Hg diastolic, similar to the reductions of 25% (CHD) and 36% (stroke) expected for the same difference in blood pressure from the cohort study meta-analysis, indicating that the benefit is explained by blood pressure reduction itself. The five main classes of blood pressure lowering drugs (thiazides, β blockers, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, and calcium channel blockers) were similarly effective (within a few percentage points) in preventing CHD events and strokes, with the exception that calcium channel blockers had a greater preventive effect on stroke (relative risk 0.92, 95% confidence interval 0.85 to 0.98). The percentage reductions in CHD events and stroke were similar in people with and without cardiovascular disease and regardless of blood pressure before treatment (down to 110 mm Hg systolic and 70 mm Hg diastolic). Combining our results with those from two other studies (the meta-analyses of blood pressure cohort studies and of trials determining the blood pressure lowering effects of drugs according to dose) showed that in people aged 60-69 with a diastolic blood pressure before treatment of 90 mm Hg, three drugs at half standard dose in combination reduced the risk of CHD by an estimated 46% and of stroke by 62%; one drug at standard dose had about half this effect. The present meta-analysis also showed that drugs other than calcium channel blockers (with the exception of non-cardioselective β blockers) reduced the incidence of heart failure by 24% (19% to 28%) and calcium channel blockers by 19% (6% to 31%). Conclusions With the exception of the extra protective effect of β blockers given shortly after a myocardial infarction and the minor additional effect of calcium channel blockers in preventing stroke, all the classes of blood pressure lowering drugs have a similar effect in reducing CHD events and stroke for a given reduction in blood pressure so excluding material pleiotropic effects. The proportional reduction in cardiovascular disease events was the same or similar regardless of pretreatment blood pressure and the presence or absence of existing cardiovascular disease. Guidelines on the use of blood pressure lowering drugs can be simplified so that drugs are offered to people with all levels of blood pressure. Our results indicate the importance of lowering blood pressure in everyone over a certain age, rather than measuring it in everyone and treating it in some.
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Projected effect of dietary salt reductions on future cardiovascular disease.

(2010)
The U.S. diet is high in salt, with the majority coming from processed foods. Reducing dietary salt is a potentially important target for the improvement of public health. We used the Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) Policy Model to quantify the benefits of potentially achievable, population-wide reductions in dietary salt of up to 3 g per day (1200 mg of sodium per day). We estimated the rates and costs of cardiovascular disease in subgroups defined by age, sex, and race; compared the effects of salt reduction with those of other interventions intended to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease; and determined the cost-effectiveness of salt reduction as compared with the treatment of hypertension with medications. Reducing dietary salt by 3 g per day is projected to reduce the annual number of new cases of CHD by 60,000 to 120,000, stroke by 32,000 to 66,000, and myocardial infarction by 54,000 to 99,000 and to reduce the annual number of deaths from any cause by 44,000 to 92,000. All segments of the population would benefit, with blacks benefiting proportionately more, women benefiting particularly from stroke reduction, older adults from reductions in CHD events, and younger adults from lower mortality rates. The cardiovascular benefits of reduced salt intake are on par with the benefits of population-wide reductions in tobacco use, obesity, and cholesterol levels. A regulatory intervention designed to achieve a reduction in salt intake of 3 g per day would save 194,000 to 392,000 quality-adjusted life-years and $10 billion to$24 billion in health care costs annually. Such an intervention would be cost-saving even if only a modest reduction of 1 g per day were achieved gradually between 2010 and 2019 and would be more cost-effective than using medications to lower blood pressure in all persons with hypertension. Modest reductions in dietary salt could substantially reduce cardiovascular events and medical costs and should be a public health target. 2010 Massachusetts Medical Society
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Author and article information

Affiliations
[1 ] departmentNuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences , University of Oxford , Oxford, UK
[2 ] departmentHealth Economics Unit , University of Birmingham , Birmingham, UK
[3 ] departmentInstitute of Applied Health Service Research , University of Birmingham , Birmingham, UK
Author notes
[Correspondence to ] Dr Susannah Fleming; susannah.fleming@ 123456phc.ox.ac.uk
Journal
BMJ Open
BMJ Open
bmjopen
bmjopen
BMJ Open
BMJ Publishing Group (BMA House, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JR )
2044-6055
2019
29 May 2019
: 9
: 5
31147366
6549634
bmjopen-2018-027986
10.1136/bmjopen-2018-027986

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to copy, redistribute, remix, transform and build upon this work for any purpose, provided the original work is properly cited, a link to the licence is given, and indication of whether changes were made. See: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

Funding
Funded by: FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100007602, Programme Grants for Applied Research;
Funded by: FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100000659, Research Trainees Coordinating Centre;
Funded by: FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100000272, National Institute for Health Research;
Categories
General practice / Family practice
Research
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