June 13, 2006, Madrid, Spain – Specific training in the ESH hypertension management guidelines for nearly 1100 general practitioners treating nearly 4500 patients resulted in more patients reaching goal systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels at 8 weeks, and this was highly significant in the patients with diabetes.

The VALNORM study was presented as a poster today at the 16th European Meeting of Hypertension in Madrid, Spain.

The 4,436 patients (52% women, 61 years old on average) had hypertension an average of 4 years and 50% were untreated at baseline and about 35% were receiving monotherapy. Average blood pressure levels at baseline were 160/92 mmHg, and about 13% had diabetes. About 54% had 1 or 2 risk factors without target organ damage, diabetes, or other associated disease. In this PROBE design study, of the 1,097 physicians, 502 received training in the 2003 ESH hypertension management guidelines including strict guidance for prescription choices from 4 weeks onward based on previous treatment, blood pressure measurements, and whether or not blood pressure control had been achieved. The other physicians were free in their prescription selections.

At week 8, nearly 48% of patients treated by the physicians trained in the guidelines had achieved control of both systolic and diastolic blood pressures, compared to 44% of patients treated by the untrained physicians. Of the patients with diabetes, 18% had achieved controlled systolic and diastolic BPs with the trained physicians, compared to 11% with the untrained physicians. Multivariate analysis showed that training of the physicians was positively related to the better blood pressure control.