Urine test is breakthrough for high blood pressure patients

A research team including Leicester scientists has shown that a urine test leads to a drop in blood pressure in patients who had been struggling to regularly take their blood pressure lowering tablets.

The research was conducted by a team from the Universities of Manchester, Leicester, University College London and Prague, with collaborators from Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Of the 238 patients who underwent the urine test, 73 were not taking their blood pressure lowering tablets on a regular basis. The research team tracked blood pressure changes in the 73 patients who had struggled to take their tablets regularly following their appointment at which the discussion of their initial urine test took place. The team noticed that systolic blood pressure fell on average by between 20 and 30 mmHg between the urine test and the final clinic visit.

Such a significant drop in blood pressure may translate into an approximate 45% reduction in risk of coronary heart disease and a 65% reduction in the risk of stroke.

Dr Pankaj Gupta, the first author of the paper from our Department of Cardiovascular Sciences and National Centre for Drug Adherence Testing (NCAT) based at Leicester’s Hospitals, said: “High blood pressure is the single most important risk factor for premature death internationally.

“Conversion of the majority of non-adherent hypertensive patients to adherence with a significant drop in blood pressure is an important breakthrough, given that previous studies showed limited benefits from complex and costly interventions.”

Dr Prashanth Patel, the co-author of the paper, Head of the Department at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and Co-Director of NCAT, said: “Although treatments available to doctors are effective, target blood pressures are only achieved in 40-50% of patients.

“We suggest that repeated urine testing should be considered as a potential therapeutic approach to non-adherence in patients with high blood pressure.”