People with elevated blood pressure saw improvement after 12 weeks of a telehealth support program, with or without support from a dietitian, a Geisinger study found.
A research team led by Alexander Chang, M.D., Geisinger nephrologist, enrolled two groups of patients with high blood pressure in a remote support program delivered through web-based applications. Both groups were provided lifestyle guidance from the American Heart Association, and one group also participated in weekly calls with a dietitian.
Over the course of 12 weeks, the two groups saw a similar reduction in 24-hour systolic blood pressure. The group with access to dietitian support showed a greater reduction in systolic blood pressure while asleep, as well as increased self-reported physical activity, better dietary quality and more weight loss than the group using remote support alone.
Results were published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
“These remotely delivered programs improved blood pressure in a manner similar to a blood pressure medication,” Dr. Chang said. “The interventions were low-cost and could be scaled to help larger groups of patients improve their blood pressure through lifestyle change.”
The research team will explore implementing similar remotely delivered programs to a larger patient population at Geisinger to improve blood pressure and reduce cardiovascular risk.