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$1.2m high blood pressure trial funded

$1.2m high blood pressure trial funded

A $1.2 million nationwide project will evaluate how care for people with resistant high blood pressure can be improved in New Zealand. The project will comprehensively assess aspects of health delivery for people with high blood pressure.

A key part of the two year project will be a trial that will compare the effectiveness of a comprehensive clinical management approach with a new treatment that ‘zaps’ nerves to the kidney to reduce blood pressure.

The University of Auckland will lead this research, working with a large team of health professionals from across the country.

The trial will include several hundred people with resistant high blood pressure from throughout Auckland, Waikato and Christchurch.

The funding for the programme comes from the new Health Innovation Partnership that was established earlier this year between the National Health Committee and the Health Research Council of New Zealand.

The five district health boards in Auckland, Waikato and Christchurch are supporting the trial.

New Zealand Chair of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand Professor Ralph Stewart says renal denervation is a very promising technique, but its role in New Zealand health care is currently uncertain. Renal denervation is still new in this country and is only available in certain centres.

This trial will provide detailed, comprehensive advice for New Zealand on the optimal ways to help people with resistant high blood pressure. The trial itself, within this wider programme of work, will compare the effects of renal denervation to those of intensive medical management on blood pressure and other measures of health.

The trial will be clinically led, with strong participation from medical and interventional specialists and general practitioners.

Treating hypertension has been consistently shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, which are major health targets in New Zealand.

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