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Pharmacist Intervention Improves Blood Pressure, Diabetes Outcomes in Homeless


January 17, 2020

Median blood pressure and glycosylated hemoglobin (A1C) decreased in a homeless population in the months after pharmacist intervention, according to a study published online in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association. 

“Homeless patients with hypertension and/or type 2 diabetes who had at least one visit with a pharmacist showed some improved health outcomes,” researchers wrote. 

The retrospective study considered the effect of clinical pharmacy services on 116 patients who were homeless and had hypertension and/or diabetes. Services were provided between January 2015 through December 2016. 

Six months following a pharmacist visit, the median systolic blood pressure among participants decreased from 139 mm Hg to 135 mm, and median diastolic blood pressure decreased from 85 mm Hg vs. 82 mm Hg, according to the study.  

Meanwhile, median A1C decreased significantly — from 7.7% to 7.2% — among participants, and the proportion of patients meeting the A1C goal more than doubled, from 20% to 41%. 

Researchers found no difference in the number of emergency department and urgent care visits or in hospitalizations. Furthermore, no medication class was associated with a median proportion of days covered of 80% or greater. However, adherence to biguanides, calcium channel blockers, and thiazides did increase after pharmacist intervention, according to the study. 

Jolynn Tumolo

Reference

Bahrami S, Chang C, Alvarez KS, Lutek K, Nguyen S, Hegde A. Pharmacist impact on health outcomes in a homeless population [published online ahead of print, 2019 Nov 21]. J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). 2019;S1544-3191(19)30520-5. doi:10.1016/j.japh.2019.11.013

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