To evaluate the effectiveness of a standardized and simplified protocol based on the technical pillars of the HEARTS Initiative for the control of hypertensive patients in the Cardiovascular Health Program at the first level of care in Chile.
Longitudinal observational study (historical cohort) in two family health centers at the first level of care in Santiago. The control of blood pressure in hypertensive adults using a standardized and simplified protocol was compared to the usual protocol based on national guidelines. Innovations in the standardized protocol included changes in how the health team is coordinated, initiation of pharmacological treatment immediately after confirmed diagnosis, standardized pharmacological treatment with a combination of at least two or three antihypertensive drugs taken daily in a single tablet. Follow-up was conducted after one year to assess the percentage of adherence to treatment and achievement of blood pressure control targets
(< 140/90 mmHg).
A total of 1490 patients were evaluated: 562 who followed the standardized and simplified protocol, and 928 who were treated with the usual protocol (family health centers: 650; family health centers: 278). After one year, patients in the standardized and simplified protocol group had a higher proportion of adherence to blood pressure control targets (65% versus 37% and 41%, p<0.001) and higher adherence to treatment compared to those following the usual protocol (71% versus 18% and 23%, p<0.001).
The results show that the standardized and simplified protocol is more effective than the usual protocol in controlling arterial hypertension in patients undergoing treatment at the first level of care in Chile. Its implementation at the national level could contribute to a decrease in major cardiovascular events.