Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is the most common type of cardiovascular disease globally and the leading cause of strokes and heart attacks. In Saudi Arabia, 15% of the adult population is hypertensive.

As part of a two-year lifestyle medicine knowledge transfer program, we helped pilot a blood pressure management intervention at Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare (JHAH) in Saudi Arabia. Our experts developed a five-part video series to educate JHAH patients about lifestyle modifications for decreasing hypertension and to spur them to return within a three-month period for a blood pressure check.

We developed the video scripts in collaboration with JHAH because we wanted to respect regional culture and ensure that the lifestyle recommendations are appropriate for its patients. As part of this tailored approach, the video producers created characters wearing traditional dress for the region and featured food and exercise choices that are relevant to the JHAH patient population.

We worked with JHAH to identify patients who were most likely to benefit from this intervention. Potential participants received a link via the patient portal MyChart, which provided information on hypertension and an invitation to receive the videos and online program materials covering lifestyle approaches to lowering blood pressure.

Of the 269 pilot participants, 85% viewed the videos and other educational materials, and nearly two-thirds returned for an assessment within 90 days. Additionally, the participants’ readings showed a significant reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure following the web-based intervention.

Although this was just a first step, we find the results promising. We anticipate that future efforts can scale successfully across JHAH to help more people adopt heart-healthy habits.

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