Professional support boosts benefit of blood pressure self-monitoring
While home blood pressure monitoring is known to help treat patients with hypertension, how best to implement this remains unclear. New PLOS Medicine research suggests that people who monitor their own blood pressure at home are most likely to see a benefit – of up to 6.1 mmHg blood pressure reduction – if they combine it with individually tailored intensive support from medical staff. Forms of professional support include education, lifestyle counselling, and patient-managed medication adjustment.
The researchers analysed 25 studies, with up to 10,487 patients in total, to evaluate the effect of self-monitoring on blood pressure levels. Author Richard McManus noted: “Home self-monitoring has little effect on blood pressure control unless it’s combined with individually tailored support delivered by either a nurse, physician or pharmacist.” Understanding how best to implement self-monitoring could enable improved control of blood pressure and reduce the risk of developing associated life-threatening conditions.
Research Article: Tucker KL, Sheppard JP, Stevens R, Bosworth HB, Bove A, Bray EP, et al. (2017) Self-monitoring of blood pressure in hypertension: A systematic review and individual patient data meta-analysis. PLoS Med 14(9): e1002389. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1002389
Japanese encephalitis vaccine cuts disease rate in Nepal
In many Asian countries, the mosquito-borne viral disease known as Japanese encephalitis is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. While there is no cure, vaccines can prevent the disease, and Nepal conducted mass immunization campaigns between 2006 and 2011.
Now, researchers have examined surveillance data collected during the campaigns and for three years afterwards to analyse their effects. In a new PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases study, they describe how the Nepalese vaccination effort likely prevented over 3,000 cases of Japanese encephalitis and cut national disease rates by at least 78%. The authors say their findings support continued implementation of the Japanese encephalitis immunization program in Nepal.
Research Article: Upreti SR, Lindsey NP, Bohara R, Choudhary GR, Shakya S, Gautam M, et al. (2017) Updated estimation of the impact of a Japanese encephalitis immunization program with live, attenuated SA 14-14-2 vaccine in Nepal. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 11(9): e0005866. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0005866
Image Credit: Upreti et al (2017)