Simple urine test can distinguish between treatment failure and failure to take drugs
One in four people with high blood pressure do not take their medicines properly, putting them at increased risk of heart attack and stroke, research published in the British Medical Journal Heart has found.
A team led by Dr Maciej Tomaszewski (pictured) from the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences in collaboration with the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust analysed the samples for a wide range of the most commonly prescribed drugs to treat high blood pressure and has found that 25% of people evaluated at a hypertension clinic either do not take their medicines at all or only take them some of the time - resulting in higher blood pressure.
The authors analysed the urine samples of 208 patients with high blood pressure attending a specialist hypertension clinic. Some 125 were new referrals from primary care; 66 were follow up patients whose blood pressure control was poor; and 17 had been referred for renal denervation.
There was a direct correlation between blood pressure readings and the number of drugs detected, with the lowest readings among those taking all their prescribed meds.
The findings suggest that to keep blood pressure low, it is advisable to be consistent with medication.