Residents in Clydebank and north-west Glasgow are being asked to take part in a new blood pressure study.

Researchers are investigating how well different blood pressure lowering drugs work in people from black African, black Caribbean and South East Asian backgrounds.

Residents from those ethnic backgrounds respond differently to drugs used to treat high blood pressure.

The British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) Centre of Research Excellence at the University of Glasgow is one of nine centres around the UK involved in the clinical study, AIM HY INFORM.

Professor Sandosh Padmanabhan, Professor of Cardiovascular Genomics and Therapeutics at the University of Glasgow, said: “It can be very difficult for doctors to predict how people’s blood pressure will respond to different medications. Most people will need more than one drug, and finding the right combination can be a time consuming process.

“By taking part in this trial you will find out which tablets suit you best, but also be helping to improve the way we treat high blood pressure in the future.”

The study, which is funded by the Medical Research Council and the BHF, is focussing on adults aged 18 to 65 from black African, black Caribbean and South East Asian backgrounds, as well as white British, to reflect the population of the UK.

They want to find out which are the best medicines for each group, as current research has mainly been performed in people from a white European background. The scientists are making the call during May Measurement Month, an annual campaign that aims to raise awareness of high blood pressure.

The trial will also explore whether a person’s genetic makeup, as well as the chemical makeup of their blood, can predict which treatment is best for them. If they can, it will be possible to select the best drug for each individual, regardless of their ethnicity, using a simple blood test.

This will mean people with high blood pressure could have fewer consultations with the doctor and have their blood pressure brought under control faster, and will contribute to better blood pressure control on a national level, preventing heart attacks and strokes.

People taking part in the study will be given three to four blood pressure medications in turn over the course of six to eight months. They’ll be given blood pressure checks and other simple tests to see which drug, or combination of drugs, work best. In total, more than 1,300 people are expected to take part in the trial.

The study is open to men and women aged 18 to 65 with high blood pressure, who are from either white (Caucasian), black African, black Caribbean or South East Asian background.

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