Dr Christopher Clark's findings have helped shape European guidelines on blood pressure checks

Blood pressure research wins National Prize

Research carried out at the University of Exeter Medical School on the monitoring of blood pressure has received the Royal College of General Practitioners Research Paper of the Year Award in the stroke category.

The research has contributed to national and international guidelines.

Dr Christopher Clark, a GP at the Mid Devon Medical Practice and a Clinical Academic Fellow at the University of Exeter Medical School, led on a systematic review published in The Lancet in January last year which found that differences in systolic blood pressure between arms could be a useful indicator of the likelihood of vascular risk and death. It is this study which has won the award.

The study was supported by the Royal College of General Practitioners, the South West GP Trust and the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care in the South West Peninsula (PenCLAHRC).

Dr Clark’s work added support to the calls for both-arm blood pressure checks to be performed as standard. The results of the study have since been used by the UK Vascular Check programme and for European hypertension guidelines.

Dr Clark said: “We are delighted that the findings of our systematic review have been adopted by healthcare professionals in the UK and in Europe, to the benefit of patients with hypertension. It is a condition which is ‘clinically silent’, which means that in most cases there are no apparent symptoms. Dual arm checks are a better way of identifying those at risk. Our thanks go to the Royal College of General Practitioners for recognising the impact of our work with a Research Paper of the Year Award.”

Date: 10 July 2013

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