In a recent government study doctors asked the question of what role home blood pressure monitoring has for patients with or without hypertension? The result was that taking one’s BP measurements at home with an accurate automatic monitor was a better indicator of the effects of hypertension. It was considered better to have the patients take their BPs at home for a few days before starting any drug or other therapy. Partly because the readings at home were found to be lower. Perhaps because the patients were less anxious than they might be when their blood pressures were taken in a doctor’s office and in a clinical setting.
It is always best to avoid unnecessary drugs and treatment. By trying a few days of in home monitoring
over-diagnosis and over-treatment may be avoided. You can read the complete study – please see the reference
best protection is always knowledge. Our medical consultants suggest you
bring at least 12 BP readings with you when you next visit your doctor.
The readings are most accurate if done with an arm cuffing monitor - not
finger or wrist. The readings should be taken as described in "How
to use a BP Monitor" and we suggest once or twice a day at
most, at various times of day (but at least 1/2 hour after a meal and
after strenuous exercise). Bring this information - with date and times
of day reading was taken - to your doctor. Do NOT leave off any readings
even if much higher or lower than the other readings.
*Ref.: Verberk WJ, Kroon AA, Kessels AG, de Leeuw PW. Home blood pressure measurement. A systematic review. J Am Coll Cardiol 2005;46:743-51.
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