Dr. Heather Johnson Awarded $3.5M for Research on Hypertension Management in Young Adults

Dr. Heather Johnson

Heather Johnson, MD, MS, associate professor, Cardiovascular Medicine, has been awarded $3.5M over five years (R01) from the National Institutes of Health - National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NIH-NHLBI) for her proposal entitled, “The MyHEART Study: A Young Adult Hypertension Self-Management Randomized Controlled Trial.”

In the study, Dr. Johnson and collaborators will conduct a randomized controlled trial in two large healthcare systems in Madison and Milwaukee to evaluate the impact of a program, called MyHEART, on high blood pressure in geographically and racially/ethnically diverse young adults.
The MyHEART program has 4 evidence-based self-management components to help young adults manage high blood pressure:

  1. telephone-based coaching with adult education specialists to teach and monitor self-management skills
  2. electronic health record documentation of coach-patient telephone contacts
  3. individualized hypertension education materials
  4. home blood pressure monitoring

More than 10 million adults in the US under the age of 40 have high blood pressure. Only 35 percent have successfully managed to control their blood pressure to normal or borderline levels (<140/90 mmHg). Dr. Johnson and colleagues developed a website, MyHEART (myheartmychoice.org), aimed at helping young adults live a healthier life, lower their blood pressure, and prevent heart disease. Her group also provides a toolkit with information for providers and administrators about how they can use the website with their patients and market it within their organization.