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AIM HY INFORM – a new trial aiming for personalised blood pressure medicine
Researchers begin a new study looking for the best blood pressure treatment for people from different ethnic backgrounds
People from different ethnic backgrounds are known to respond differently to drugs used to treat high blood pressure. With funding from the Medical Research Council and British Heart Foundation, the AIM HY INFORM study is investigating how well different blood pressure lowering drugs work in people from different ethnic backgrounds.
The study is focussing on adults aged 18 to 65 from black African, black Caribbean and South East Asian backgrounds, to reflect the population of the UK. The aim is to find out which are the best medicines for each group, as current research has mainly been performed in people from a white Caucasian background.
Could a blood test be used to select the best medicines for each person?
The trial will also explore whether a person’s genetic makeup, as well as the chemical makeup of their blood, can predict which treatment is best for them. If they can, it will be possible to select the best drug for each individual, regardless of their ethnicity, using a simple blood test.
This will mean people with high blood pressure could have fewer consultations with the doctor and have their blood pressure brought under control faster, and will contribute to better blood pressure control on a national level, preventing heart attacks and strokes.
How will the study work?
Those taking part in the study will be given three to four blood pressure medications in turn, with blood pressure checks and other simple tests along the way, to see which drug or combination of drugs work best. The results should give a good idea of which drugs will work best in people from different ethnic backgrounds.
Phil Chowienczyk, Professor of Cardiovascular Clinical Pharmacology at King’s College London, who is leading the AIM HY program, says: “By taking part in this trial you will find out which tablets suit you best and you will help us to improve the way we treat high blood pressure in the future by being able to tailor treatment to each person as an individual.”
How you can take part
The study is open to men and women aged 18 to 65 with high blood pressure, who are from either white (Caucasian), black African, black Caribbean or South East Asian backgrounds.
Hear from people who’ve taken part:
“All the staff on the study were so lovely and helpful and I always felt at ease, and most importantly knew that I was helping shape the future of people who suffer from hypertension.”
“For the first time in many years, I ran to catch a bus without feeling short of breath. I want as many people as possible, particularly from the ethnic minorities, to benefit."
Hemini Bharadia, Marketing Manager at Blood Pressure UK explains: “High blood pressure is common among people from black African, black Caribbean and South East Asian backgrounds, and can go on to cause serious problems including diabetes, heart disease and stroke. The study will help GPs find the most effective treatment for people from different ethnic groups, so people can live their lives to the full, free from unnecessary disease.”