At a time when cardiovascular diseases are fast spreading their tentacles across the world, researchers have found how general practices may play a significant in the prevention of heart issues.
The study findings, published in the British Journal of -- Clinical Pharmacology -- support the involvement of pharmacists as healthcare providers in managing patients with hypertension, diabetes and high cholesterol.
The pharmacist-led interventions such as patient education, medication review, and medication management can be pivotal in preventing heat-related illnesses, say the researchers.
Researchers at the University of Birmingham's School of Pharmacy and Institute of Applied Health Research assessed medical literature for relevant randomised controlled clinical trials assessing the effectiveness of pharmacist-led interventions delivered in the general practice in reducing the medical risk factors of cardiovascular events.
They identified 21 trials involving a total of 8,933 patients. The pharmacist-led interventions included patient education, medication review, and counseling, physical assessment, assessing adherence, lifestyle modification, and medication management such as prescribing, adjusting, monitoring, and administering therapy and identifying drug-related problems.
The most frequently used pharmacist-led interventions were medication review and medication management.
Patients receiving pharmacist-led interventions experienced significant reductions in their systolic blood pressure by an average of -9.33 mmHg; hemoglobin A1c, a measure of blood sugar levels by an average of -0.76 per cent; and LDL-cholesterol (by an average of -15.19 mg/dl).
"The evidence presented in this review provides an important message to health systems and policymakers regarding the effectiveness of general practice-based pharmacists' interventions," said Abdullah Alshehri of the University of Birmingham.
"The significant reductions in blood pressure, blood glucose, and blood cholesterol reported in this meta-analysis, if sustained in clinical practice, could have significant implications for managing hypertension, diabetes, and dyslipidemia that could prevent cardiovascular morbidity and mortality," added Alshehri.
Alshehri noted that the findings support greater involvement of pharmacists in general practice. "This will benefit health organisations by providing cost-effective care associated with greater control of patients' conditions and their medications," he said.
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