Adults asked about controlling hypertension said they are more inclined to take a daily pill or drink tea rather than exercise, according to results of an abstract presented at the American Heart Association’s Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions.
To assess how adults weigh the benefits of hypertension treatment options against their inconvenience, Erica Spatz, MD, MHS, assistant professor of cardiovascular medicine in the Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation at Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut, and colleagues conducted a survey of antihypertensive treatment preferences among 1,284 adults who were recruited using Amazon MTurk and 100 patients who presented to an outpatient clinic.
The researchers asked participants to imagine scenarios in which they had hypertension, if they did not, and asked their willingness to adopt treatments via tea, exercise, injection or pill, to gain an extra month, year or 5 years of life.
Spatz and colleagues estimated gains in life expectancy by age and sex, derived from meta-analyses of pills, but applied to all interventions. They determined the difference between the calculated benefit and respondents’ expressed minimum desired benefit for taking the therapy, which is a measure of undesirability.
The researchers found that:
- 79% of respondents said they would be willing to take a pill for an extra month of life, 90% would for an extra year of life and 96% would for an extra 5 years of life;
- 78% would drink a daily cup of tea for an extra month of life, 91% would for an extra year of life and 96% would drink it for an extra 5 years of life;
- 63% would be willing to exercise for an extra month of life, 84% would for an extra year of life and 93% would exercise if it meant an extra 5 years of life; and
- 68% would take a shot every 6 months if it would give them an extra month of life, 85% would do it for an extra year of life and 93% would be willing if it gave them another 5 years, but only 51% would take a monthly shot for an extra month of life, 74% would for an extra year and 88% would for 5 extra years of life, making this the least preferred option.
For each of the intervention options, more than 20% of participants stated the burden of treatment exceeded their calculated life expectancy gain.
“Our findings demonstrate that people naturally assign different weights to the pluses and minuses of interventions to improve cardiovascular health,” Spatz said in a press release. “I believe we need to tap into this framework when we are talking with patients about options to manage their blood pressure. We are good about discussing side effects, but rarely do we find out if other inconveniences or burdens may be impacting a person’s willingness to take a lifelong medication or to exercise regularly.” − by Dave Quaile
Spatz ES, et al. Presentation 140. Presented at: The American Heart Association’s Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions; April 6-7, 2018; Arlington, Va.
Disclosure: Spatz reports no relevant financial disclosures.