World Bulletin / News Desk
People who received regular lifestyle counseling online were able to lower their blood pressure as much as a medication would, researchers said Saturday.
Their study involved 264 people with high blood pressure and an average age of 58.
The subjects' average blood pressure began at around 140/90 mmHg, meaning they had what is clinically known as stage 1 hypertension.
Most were already taking at least one drug to cut their blood pressure.
Patients enrolled through the website of the Heart and Stroke Association of Canada and were randomly assigned to either an e-counseling group or a control group.
Both groups received emails during the year-long trial, first weekly, then monthly.
Those in the e-counseling group were "provided links to online multimedia and interactive tools to increase motivation and skills to begin and sustain a heart-healthy lifestyle," the study said.
"These included video clips featuring characters discussing their own high blood pressure diagnosis and efforts to make lifestyle changes, as well as tools for tracking diet and level of physical activity."
By the end of the study period, the more engaging online content seemed to have had an effect, and patients in that group reduced their systolic blood pressure -- the higher number in a blood-pressure reading -- by 10 millimeters of mercury (mmHg).
That was a statistically significant difference compared to the control group, which saw a 6 mmHg reduction.
"The electronic counseling intervention had an effect similar to that of adding an additional blood-pressure-lowering medication," said lead study author Robert Nolan, associate professor at the University of Toronto.
"We think this lifestyle counseling intervention can complement and optimize the effectiveness of medical therapy to reduce high blood pressure."
The study was released at American College of Cardiology's annual meeting in Washington.
More than 200 scientists urge further restrictions on commonly used chemicals
Over 166,976 suspected cases of cholera have been registered in Yemen
Around 16,000 cases of watery diarrhea have been reported in Sudan since August 2016, says Abu Garda
Named "pseudouridimycin," or PUM, the new antibiotic is produced by a microbe found in the soil.
Study finds obesity rates doubled in more than 70 countries since 1980
Unhealthy foods include ice cream, cookies, pies, some cheeses, soda
More than 86,400 suspected cases of cholera recorded in war-torn Yemen
Health minister says single syringe was used to vaccinate several children, health workers were as young as 12 years old
Gaza’s Health Ministry continues to suffer from acute shortages of both fuel and medicine
More than 65,300 suspected cases of cholera recorded in war-torn Yemen
Countries should set a target of reaching $40 to $80 per tonne of CO2 by 2020, and of $50 to $100 per tonne by 2030, they said.
Indian government issues guidelines to deal with Zika virus
Number just 1 million shy of those who would have been without coverage under previous Republican draft
The human genome has some 25,000 genes composed of more than three billion pairing of building-block molecules.
On a pro-forma 2016 basis, the merged group would have combined sales of approximately $13.2 billion (11.8 billion euros) and underlying or operating profit of $2.3 billion.
The seed vault that protects the worlds' seed crops, also protects European and South American varieties of aubergine, lettuce, barley and potatoes.