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Recently presented: Clinicians and researchers work together on hypertension study

Division of Research investigators recently assisted physician Marc Jaffe, MD, with presentation of the results from an observational study he led with fellow clinician Joseph D. Young, MD. The study showed that Kaiser Permanente Northern California nearly doubled the rate of blood pressure control — among 600,000 members diagnosed with hypertension — from 44 percent in 2001 to 80 percent by 2009.

Jaffe presented the results in May at a meeting of the American Society of Hypertension’s (ASH) 2011 scientific meeting, after working with Division investigators Alan Go, MD; Joan Lo, MD and Steve Sidney, MD, MPH, to fine-tune data interpretation and presentation. Several days later The Wall Street Journal published a story highlighting results from the study.

“Our work with Dr. Jaffe is a good example of how clinicians and researchers can work together, on the design and interpretation of data, as well as how it can be presented clearly to the public and through peer-reviewed publications,” said Go, acting director of the Division and director of the Comprehensive Clinical Research Unit. “We bring complementary skills to the table.”

During the ASH session, Jaffe attributed the positive hypertension control results to staying close to clinical guidelines, creating a hypertension registry, sharing best practices from high-performing Kaiser Permanente centers across the region and in 2005 beginning use of a single-pill fixed-dose combination therapy for hypertension treatment.

Inspired by the New England Journal of Medicine’s 2010 publication of a Division study showing a 24 percent decline in heart attacks within the Kaiser Permanente Northern California population, Jaffe said he reached out to Go and the Division.

“Dr. Go was instrumental in coaching us and helping us to shape our presentation and abstract,” said Jaffe.

He added that he invited Go and Sidney to partner with him and Young on a research paper they are now writing.

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