Home Monitoring Improves Blood Pressure
People with hypertension who monitor their own blood pressure
at home may be more likely to keep it under control than those
who have their blood pressures checked at outpatient clinics
or doctors’ offices, according to a new report.
The researchers performed a meta-analysis of 18 studies including
a total of 1,359 people with hypertension who monitored their
blood pressure at home and 1,355 others who received standard
monitoring in the health care system. Patients were followed
for 2 to 36 months.
Compared with people who had standard blood pressure monitoring,
those who monitored their blood pressure at home had lower diastolic
and systolic blood pressures and were 10% less likely to see
their blood pressure climb above recommended targets.
Although the differences in blood pressure seen between the
two groups were relatively small—around 2 mm Hg for both
systolic and diastolic readings—they would be sufficient
to significantly reduce the likelihood of hypertension complications
such as stroke and heart attack in the general population, the
researchers conclude. What’s more, they note, home monitoring
may benefit patients by helping them become more involved in
managing their own blood pressure.
Volume 329, page 145
July 17, 2004