People with high blood pressure may benefit from different management techniques based on their health lifestyle beliefs and behaviors, according to an article appearing in the February 28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, a member of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) family of journals.
The researchers, lead by Matthew R. Weir, MD, from the University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, characterized four health lifestyle types through interviews with 727 people with hypertension. They were interviewed about their beliefs and behaviors regarding hypertension and its management.
The researchers found significant differences between the four groups. Group A members use an effective mix of medication and health lifestyle regimens to control blood pressure. Group B members are most likely to depend on medication and have high adherence rates. They also have high rates of smoking and alcohol use and are less likely to exercise regularly. Members of group C are most likely to forget to take medication, are likely to be obese and find it difficult to comply with lifestyle changes (except for very low rates of smoking and alcohol use). Group D members are least likely to take medication, most likely to change or stop medication without consulting their physician, most likely to smoke and least likely to control their diet.
The researchers report group A and B members have better health outcomes than group C and D members. "Physicians and other members of the health care team must assist patients with hypertension to understand better the relationship between health lifestyle and their medical condition, and enable patients to manage their condition through an appropriate combination of medication and lifestyle modification," conclude the authors.
(Archives of Internal Medicine 2000;160:481-490)
For more information: contact the American Medical Association's Amy Jenkins at (312) 464-4843. E-mail: '"/>
Contact: Ellen Beth Levitt
Center for the Advancement of Health