[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Evidence on long term effectiveness of public health strategies for lowering blood pressure (BP) is scarce. In the Control of Blood Pressure and Risk Attenuation (COBRA) Trial, a 2 x 2 factorial, cluster randomized controlled trial, the combined home health education (HHE) and trained general practitioner (GP) intervention delivered over 2 years was more effective than no intervention (usual care) in lowering systolic BP among adults with hypertension in urban Pakistan. However, it was not clear whether the effect would be sustained after the cessation of intervention. We conducted 7 years follow-up inclusive of 5 years of post intervention period of COBRA trial participants to assess the effectiveness of the interventions on BP during extended follow-up.
A total of 1341 individuals 40 years or older with hypertension (systolic BP 140 mm Hg or greater, diastolic BP 90 mm Hg or greater, or already receiving treatment) were followed by trained research staff masked to randomization status. BP was measured thrice with a calibrated automated device (Omron HEM-737 IntelliSense) in the sitting position after 5 minutes of rest. BP measurements were repeated after two weeks. Generalized estimating equations (GEE) were used to analyze the primary outcome of change in systolic BP from baseline to 7- year follow-up. The multivariable model was adjusted for clustering, age at baseline, sex, baseline systolic and diastolic BP, and presence of diabetes.
After 7 years of follow-up, systolic BP levels among those randomised to combined HHE plus trained GP intervention were significantly lower (2.1 [4.1-0.1] mm Hg) compared to those randomised to usual care, (P = 0.04). Participants receiving the combined intervention compared to usual care had a greater reduction in LDL-cholesterol (2.7 [4.8 to 0.6] mg/dl.
The benefit in systolic BP reduction observed in the original cohort assigned to the combined intervention was attenuated but still evident at 7- year follow-up. These findings highlight the potential for scaling-up simple strategies for cardiovascular risk reduction in low- and middle- income countries.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Evidence on economically efficient strategies to lower blood pressure (BP) from low- and middle-income countries remains scarce. The Control of Blood Pressure and Risk Attenuation (COBRA) trial randomized 1341 hypertensive subjects in 12 randomly selected communities in Karachi, Pakistan, to 3 intervention programs: (1) combined home health education (HHE) plus trained general practitioner (GP); (2) HHE only; and (3) trained GP only. The comparator was no intervention (or usual care). The reduction in BP was most pronounced in the combined group. The present study examined the cost-effectiveness of these strategies.
Total costs were assessed at baseline and 2 years to estimate incremental cost-effectiveness ratios based on (1) intervention cost; (2) cost of physician consultation, medications, diagnostics, changes in lifestyle, and productivity loss; and (3) change in systolic BP. Precision of the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio estimates was assessed by 1000 bootstrapping replications. Bayesian probabilistic sensitivity analysis was also performed. The annual costs per participant associated with the combined HHE plus trained GP, HHE alone, and trained GP alone were $3.99, $3.34, and $0.65, respectively. HHE plus trained GP was the most cost-effective intervention, with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $23 (95 confidence interval, 6-99) per mm Hg reduction in systolic BP compared with usual care, and remained so in 97.7 of 1000 bootstrapped replications.
The combined intervention of HHE plus trained GP is potentially affordable and more cost-effective for BP control than usual care or either strategy alone in some communities in Pakistan, and possibly other countries in Indochina with similar healthcare infrastructure.