Hypertension: Information Technology to Improve Blood Pressure

    LOYAL Study results published in the online edition of Circulation

    MONTREAL, May 6 /CNW Telbec/ - Help is on the way for the nearly five
million Canadians suffering from hypertension. According to results from the
LOYAL Study conducted in Laval, Quebec, hypertensive patients can
significantly improve their blood pressure control and overall health by using
an innovative, multidisciplinary hypertension management program linking
primary care physicians, patients, nurses and pharmacists. Over and above
standard educational materials and home blood pressure monitors, the
management program allowed patients access to an interactive voice-recognition
telephone support system, providing them with ongoing feedback and
consultation. The technology used for the study was developed by Voice
Synergies, Inc., a Quebec-based firm.
    The LOYAL Study results were published yesterday in the online edition of
Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcome(i). Preliminary results were
presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in October, 2007, in Quebec
City, Quebec.
    "It is clear that in the treatment of hypertension and of other chronic
diseases, having good medicine, knowledgeable physicians, dedicated
pharmacists and active patient groups is not enough - we have all of those
already but, despite the great progress we have made, many patients do not
achieve their treatment targets," declared Dr. Pavel Hamet, LOYAL Study lead
investigator, Canada Research Chair, Predictive Genomics, and Chief, Gene
Medicine Services, Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM),
Director, Laboratory of Molecular Medicine, Centre hospitalier de l'Université
de Montréal's Research Centre (CRCHUM) and Professor at the Université de
Montréal. "What we wanted to learn from LOYAL was the impact we could have by
using those resources in a different, more interactive manner. Our findings
confirm that a multidisciplinary, information technology-supported program
does improve blood pressure control in hypertensive patients. We will work to
ensure that the LOYAL findings are disseminated in an effective way so broader
patient populations can benefit."
    Almost a quarter of Canadian adults, roughly five million people, have
hypertension.(ii) This condition is a major risk factor for stroke and
coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease and congestive heart
failure, and it increases cardiovascular risk by two to three times.(iii)
Despite evidence that the early diagnosis and treatment of hypertension is
associated with lowered chances of developing cardiovascular disease, only 13
per cent of hypertensive patients in Canada achieve adequate control of their
blood pressure.
    "In the four years and a half it has taken for LOYAL to be completed, the
Quebec healthcare system has evolved along much the same lines as what LOYAL
was set up to study," declared Dr. Marie-Thérèse Lussier, Associate Professor
at Université de Montréal, and member of the LOYAL research team. "We now see
the Quebec healthcare system evolving in the same direction, with a vision of
patient-centered care from a multitude of resources, including the appropriate
use of medication as outlined in the new Politique du médicament. It is indeed
encouraging to see the ideas that we set out to study in LOYAL being accepted
as valid throughout the system."


    The results of the LOYAL Study are the first to demonstrate that a
multidisciplinary, information technology-supported program can significantly
improve blood pressure control measured using ABPM (Ambulatory Blood Pressure
Monitoring) in a primary care setting. The change over one year to ABPM blood
pressure had decreased by 13.7 mmHg in the intervention group and by 6.8 mmHg
in the usual care group, which was significantly different in favour of the
intervention (margin of error p (less than) 0.0010).


    The objective of the Lowering Blood Pressure by Improving COmpliance to
HYpertension Therapy through the Assistance of TechnoLogy Enhanced Tools
(LOYAL) study was to develop an innovative and multidisciplinary hypertension
management program linking primary care physicians, patients, nurses, and
pharmacists in order to assist patients in improving their blood pressure
control and overall health.
    The Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal's Research Centre
(CRCHUM) and Pfizer Canada, in cooperation with Cité de la Santé de Laval, the
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Voice Synergies Inc., joined
forces to conduct this innovative research into hypertension control. Other
partners involved in the project: Diabète Québec, the Canadian Hypertension
Society, Heart & Stroke Quebec, Agence de la Santé et des Services sociaux de
Montréal, Agence de la Santé et des Services sociaux de Laval, Association
québécoise des pharmaciens propriétaires and Fonds de la recherche en santé
    "Having doctors write prescriptions and having medicine available in
pharmacies does not automatically mean success in patient outcomes," declared
Dr. Bernard Prigent, Medical Director at Pfizer. "This is why Pfizer is
pleased to invest in programs like LOYAL so we can understand more about this
complicated interaction. The growth of this type of research and its
importance is part of a healthy overall trend that is seeing the breaking down
of silos in research efforts as people realize that complex answers to health
issues cannot be found within one discipline alone."

    About CHUM: www.chumtl.qc.ca

    About the CRCHUM: www.crchum.qc.ca

    (i)   http://circoutcomes.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/CIRCOUTCOMES.108.823765v1
    (ii)  Heart & Stroke Foundation. Available at:
          http://ww2.heartandstroke.ca. Accessed on: October 3, 2007.
    (iii) Montreal Heart Institute. Available at:
          http://www.icm-mhi.org/en/maladies-coeur.html. Accessed on
          October 12, 2007

For further information:

For further information: to arrange an interview with Dr. Hamet or Dr.
Lussier, please contact: Marie-Anne Grondin, Edelman, (514) 844-6665 ext. 246,
marie-anne.grondin@edelman.com; Nathalie Forgue, CHUM, (514) 890-8000 ext.
14342, nathalie.forgue.chum@ssss.gouv.qc.ca; Sylvain-Jacques Desjardins,
Université de Montréal, (514) 343-7593,
sylvain-jacques.desjardins@umontreal.ca; Paula Beaudoin, Centre de Santé et
Service Sociaux de Laval, (450) 975-5309, paula_beaudoin@ssss.gouv.qc.ca

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