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How pharmacists can help to improve our control of high blood pressure

bloodpressureResearch into finding new ways for pharmacists to help people with high blood pressure is being undertaken across Warwickshire and the West Midlands.

Experts from the University of Warwick and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust are working with pharmacies to help patients across the region to make the most of their treatment.

High blood pressure is the most common preventable cause of disability and premature death from stroke, heart attack or heart disease. Every three days in the UK, around 1000 people experience a preventable stroke or heart attack caused by high blood pressure.

Despite the proven benefits of blood pressure control for reducing risks of stroke, heart disease and other serious cardiovascular events, high blood pressure is often poorly controlled in many patients.

Ejaz Cheema, research student at the University of Warwick, explained, “One important reason why this very treatable disease still causes so many serious heart and stroke complications is that many patients find it difficult to keep taking their tablets.”

“Surprisingly, around one in three people diagnosed with high blood pressure stop taking their blood pressure tablets by six months, and half of patients with high blood pressure will have stopped their tablets within a year.”

The study is looking for patients with high blood pressure who have either recently been started on blood pressure treatment, or started a different or added blood pressure medicine, to participate.

Taking part in the research involves four visits over a six month period at one of several local pharmacies in Coventry and in Birmingham. Volunteers would have their blood pressure checked at each visit and pharmacists will provide helpful advice on how to improve control over high blood pressure.

Participating Chemists

  1. Boots the Chemist, Great Bridge St West Bromwich West Midlands B70 0EN
  2. Boots the Chemist, 1 Hartlebury Road Oldbury West Midlands B69 1DF
  3. J P Goes Chemist, 475 Holyhead Road Coventry West Midlands CV5 8HU
  4. Gohil Chemist Ltd, 102 Rotherham Rd, Coventry, West Midlands CV6 4FR

Patients participating in the study will be offered £10 towards the costs of each of the four visits to the pharmacy.

To express an interest in taking part in this study, contact Ejaz Cheema at: or call 07434281361.

You can listen to Ejaz Cheema's interview on BBC Radio Coventry and Warwickshire, from 29 April 2014, below: