No copays, easier pills may reduce blood pressure, untimely deaths

CHICAGO - High blood pressure affects 1 in 3 U.S. adults and is a big contributor to poor health and untimely deaths. A new study reveals two methods that may help make a big dent.

Giving patients a single pill combining two medicines, and no-copay blood pressure checks with medical assistants were part of a successful program involving more than 300,000 patients.

At the start, less than half of patients had brought their high blood pressure under control. That increased to 80 percent after eight years. That's well above the national average.

The research involved patients and doctors at Kaiser Permanente in Northern California.

The study was published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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