High blood pressure affects 1 in 3 adults worldwide. In the United States, about 55% of Black adults have high blood pressure, which, if left untreated, can lead to serious cardiovascular issues, such as heart disease, heart attack, stroke and more.

To address this disparity, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) awarded researchers at Atrium Health and the Wake Forest University (WFU) School of Medicine nearly $10 million in funding to conduct the “Remote Hypertension Tracking Help and Management to Reduce Disparities in Black Patients (RHYTHM-B)” study. 

The study aims to help patients and health care providers make better decisions about how to manage high blood pressure.

“There is an urgent need to test innovative and targeted strategies to improve hypertension outcomes for Black patients and guide implementation of best practices,” said co–study author Yhenneko Taylor, PhD, assistant vice president of analytics and outcomes research at Atrium Health and adjunct associate professor of social sciences and health policy at WFU School of Medicine, in a news release.

The two-year study will enroll 780 non-Hispanic Black patients with uncontrolled high blood pressure. All participants will receive a blood pressure monitor to use at home. One half of the participants will have remote support through phone and video check-ins, while the other half will have in-person visits. Researchers will then compare the groups to determine which intervention more successfully helped people control their blood pressure.

Telemedicine has revolutionized health care in recent years, but some experts still question its effectiveness on outcomes for marginalized communities, according to the news release.

“With funding support from PCORI, this research will help us understand the best strategies to help Black patients achieve better hypertension control,” said co–study author William Applegate, MD, professor of gerontology and geriatric medicine at WFU School of Medicine. “We hope to gain much-needed insight on how best to leverage telehealth and home blood pressure monitoring to ensure equitable hypertension care.”

To read more, click #High Blood Pressure. There, you’ll find headlines such as “First WHO Report Details Devastating Impact of Hypertension and Ways to Stop It,” “$21M Grant to Reduce Hypertension During Pregnancy” and “High Blood Pressure Common in Black Women of Childbearing Age.”