2 years of experience in the first phase of a large cooperative national hypertension programme yielded data indicating that a good level of patient adherence can be achieved and that satisfactory blood-pressure control can be maintained long term. For 116 participants, all employed persons, dropout in the first year was 20% but only 3% dropped out in the second year. At the second annual examination, 82% of those still in the programme had diastolic pressures under 90 mm Hg, with an average reduction of 18 mm Hg. Thus, nearly two-thirds (64%) of all patients originally enrolled were both active and with normal levels of blood-pressure after two years. Only 18% of active programme-treated patients had diastolic pressure 90 mm Hg or higher at the second anniversary in contrast with 33% of patients referred to their own doctors. In programme-treated patients, standard medication was used; diuretics effectively lowered blood-pressure in a third of patients, and diuretics plus reserpine were effective for another 20%. Special features of the programme included assisance to physicians by health counsellor therapists. Methods for achieving a high adherence-rate and satisfactory blood-pressure control probably have wider applicability.
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