Control of blood pressure and risk attenuation: Post trial follow-up of randomized groups

Tazeen H. Jafar, Imtiaz Jehan, Feng Liang, Sylvaine Barbier, Muhammad Islam, Rasool Bux, Aamir Hameed Khan, Nivedita Nadkarni, Neil Poulter, Nish Chaturvedi, Shah Ebrahim

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Background 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. Methods 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.Findings After 7 years of follow-up, systolic BP levels among those randomised to combined HHE plus trained GP intervention were significantly lower (2.1 [4.1â€"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. Conclusions 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 lowand middle- income countries.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0140550
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2015


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