NSW Health and Medical Research

Optimising blood pressure control in Australia

Collaborating organisations listed below.

  • Cardiovascular Collaborative Grants
Date Funded:
  • 25 May, 2023
Chief Investigator/s:
  • Professor Aletta Schutte
  • Professor Bruce Neal
  • Professor Markus Schlaich
  • Professor Clara Chow
  • Professor David Peiris
  • Dr. Sonali Gnanenthiran
  • Dr. Ellie Paige
  • Dr. Liliana Laranjo
  • Professor Garry Jennings
  • Professor Anthony Rodgers

Project Summary

This project will harness NSW leadership to drive a multifaceted approach in translation research and aims to increase blood pressure control rates from 32% to 70% by 2030.

What is the issue for NSW?

One third of Australian adults have raised blood pressure and it is the leading cause of preventable death, mainly due to heart attacks, stroke, kidney disease and dementia. This is mainly driven by the fact that half of people with hypertension are unaware of their condition and only one in three have their blood pressure controlled with medication. This low control rate compares poorly with other high-income countries such as Canada (68%). With an exceptional healthcare system in NSW and Australia, this is a research implementation challenge that requires us to identify why Australian approaches to implementing multiple proven hypertension control strategies are ineffective. We have identified four key areas where substantial improvements may turn the dial, namely low awareness of hypertension, high salt intake, ineffective and complex treatment algorithms in primary care and limited use of digital health tools to optimise adherence and management.

What does the research aim to do and how?

Embedded within a newly established National Hypertension Taskforce, a multidisciplinary team of internationally recognised Australian leaders aim to lead four collaborative research themes with high potential to reduce blood pressure towards the target of 70% blood pressure control.

This research will:

  • test innovative approaches to increase community awareness and diagnosis
  • encourage switching from regular salt to potassium-enriched salt
  • simplify the approach to hypertension management by GPs in line with international best practice
  • optimise hypertension monitoring and adherence using digital health tools

Collaborating Organisations:

The George Institute for Global Health

Westmead Applied Research Centre – University of Sydney

University of Western Australia