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Making treatment easier can lower blood pressure

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

A new study has found that making treatment easier for patients who have hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, can help them become healthier. High blood pressure, together with high cholesterol, can lead to heart attacks, strokes and heart disease as well as other serious health issues.

After removing copays for patient procedures as well as using treatments that were faster and less expensive, researchers from Kaiser Permanente found that the health of their patients greatly improved. Nearly 80 percent of patients who were given the new, less invasive and less stressful treatments experienced improvements in getting their blood pressure under control, according to lab tests.

The study had more than 300,000 participants and lasted eight years. Kaiser Permanente, a network of 21 hospitals and dozens of doctors' offices, conducted the research. The organization found that by simply reducing the stress of actually visiting the doctor and administering medication, huge strides could be made in getting blood pressure under control. The study also found that the number of heart attacks and strokes related to high blood pressure fell significantly during the time of the study.

To make things easier for patients, two medication pills were combined into one, making it simpler and less expensive for doctors and patients alike. Another factor was that patients could see a medical assistant on follow-up visits rather than the doctor, which simplified the process.

Cholesterol and blood pressure
High blood pressure affects approximately 65 million Americans, according to the study. Many of these Americans have no symptoms, which can make it difficult to know when high blood pressure is present. Cholesterol can also affect blood pressure, since it builds up in veins and makes it more difficult more the heart to work, which can ultimately lead to heart disease, according to the National Cholesterol Education Program. Those with high blood pressure should have cholesterol testing as well.

Changes in diet and exercise as well as medications can lower both cholesterol and blood pressure. Both of these conditions are high risk factors for heart disease, stroke and other, potentially life-threatening conditions. For those seeking to learn about their cholesterol levels who wish to avoid a visit to the doctor, a lab test online can provide the same information with complete accuracy.

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