DPP campaign urges hypertensive patients to keep taking the tablets

Around 1 in 5 people have high blood pressure.  It affects around 50% of 50 year olds and the risk increases with age.  It can be effectively managed and risk of heart failure, stroke and heart attack can be significantly reduced yet many patients don't take their medication.

Developing Patient Partnerships (DPP) is today (21 Sept 06) launching the 'Managing high blood pressure' campaign.  The campaign aims to support health professionals working with hypertensive patients and those at risk.  The health education charity is urging health professionals to use a new information leaflet to raise patients' awareness of the risks of high blood pressure and encourage people who have been diagnosed to take their medication.

The new booklet gives information about the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) low salt plan as well as lifestyle changes patients can make themselves to manage their hypertension.  It also gives advice on medication and emphasises the importance of taking prescribed medicines.

Commenting on the campaign, DPP Chairman, Dr David Wrigley said: "Over 50% of patients being prescribed hypertension medication don't take it as they should.  Hypertension is one of the few conditions that has few or no symptoms.  Because patients don't generally notice any physical benefits from the medication it is more difficult to convince them to carry on taking it, sometimes for the rest of their lives.

"Clearly, we need to be educating patients about the risks associated with not taking their medicines and supporting them in making lifestyle changes to lower their blood pressure.  The quality and outcomes framework makes a good case for reducing the blood pressure of hypertensive patients and these resources offer a practical, cost effective way of doing that."

ENDS

For further information on 'Managing high blood pressure' or other DPP health education campaigns, please contact:
Rachel Dorban, 020 7383 6780, rdorban@bma.org.uk
Pamela Prentice 020 7383 6144, pprentice@bma.org.uk

DPP: Developing Patient Partnerships (formerly Doctor Patient Partnership) is a health education charity working with primary care organisations, businesses and the public www.dpp.org.uk

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