Behavior Modification: Can It Lower Blood Pressure?

Article excerpt

Patients seeking a way to treat hypertension will find a new, personalized management system on pharmacy shelves, thanks to Omron Healthcare.

The Vernon Hills, Ill., firm is rolling out the Omron High Blood Pressure Management Program, a system that combines a home blood pressure monitor with a personalized behavior modification program ("Late-- lines," Sept. 20). The program, slated to be shipped to stores in December, is available with either the Omron HEM-609, a lightweight automatic wrist monitor featuring an easy-wrap wrist cuff, or the Omron HEM-737, an automatic arm monitor with a contoured cuff.

The program includes a 52-question personal profile about the individual's diet, exercise, smoking, and alcohol habits and perceptions as well as demographic and health information. Within a few weeks after mailing in the completed profile to HealthMedia Inc., Ann Arbor, Mich., the consumer will receive a 12page personal hypertension plan with lifestyle modification suggestions that take into account his or her motivation to change, obstacles faced, and other personal circumstances. The cost is between $89 and $99. The behavior-modification component of the program is the result of Omron's collaboration with Victor Strecher, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of public health at the University of Michigan. His published work deals with individualized behavior-modification programs to help people stop smoking and improve their diets.

Ed Siemens, Omron president, cited a study published in the Journal of Family Practice, which found that 21% of smokers who received smoking-cessation guidelines tailored to their particular motivations and circumstances quit within four months, compared with only 7% of those who received general information. …