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17-01-2011 | Cardiology | Article

Pharmacists help Type 2 diabetes patients achieve better BP control

Abstract

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MedWire News: Results from a Canadian study show that significantly more patients with Type 2 diabetes achieve good blood pressure (BP) control when pharmacists are included in their primary care teams.

Scot Simpson (University of Alberta, Edmonton) and team carried out a randomized controlled trial in which 260 patients with Type 2 diabetes, aged 59 years on average, were randomly assigned to a primary care team with (n=131) and without (n=129) pharmacists. Of these patients, 153 had uncontrolled hypertension at baseline (mean BP 138.7/78.8 mmHg) and mean BP in the whole group was 129.0/74.0 mmHg.

The pharmacists assessed the patients' medication requirements and carried out limited history and physical examinations. They also gave patients guideline-based recommendations to optimize their medication use and management.

Simpson and co-researchers found that at 1 year, 37% of the intervention group versus only 23% of the control group had achieved the primary objective of a 10% or greater decrease in systolic BP.

In patients with uncontrolled hypertension at baseline, 50% of those in the intervention versus 28% of those in the control group achieved the primary outcome.

Recommended blood pressure targets were achieved by 54% and 30% of patients in the intervention and control groups, respectively.

In addition, by using the UK Prospective Diabetes Study Risk Engine, the team calculated that 10-year cardiovascular disease risk decreased by 3% for the intervention patients and 1% for controls over the study period.

"Our observations support the addition of pharmacists to primary care teams," write the authors in the journal Diabetes Care.

They say: "Working in collaboration with the patient, primary care physician, and other health care professionals, pharmacists can have a significant, positive impact on BP management in Type 2 diabetes."

MedWire (www.medwire-news.md) is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2011

By Helen Albert

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