Just as periodic personal monitoring is important in diabetic care, it appears that personal monitoring at home of one’s blood pressure (BP) is significant in lowering high blood pressure.
This news comes from a new study published online by Hypertension on Nov ember 29, 2010.
Rajiv Agarwal, MD, Indiana University School of Medical, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of 37 randomized controlled trials of 9446 participants which looked at changes in BP or percentage of participants achieving a pre-established BP goal between randomized groups using home-based and office-based BP measurements.
The researchers found systolic BP improved with home-based BP monitoring (-2.63 mm Hg); diastolic BP also showed improvement (-1.68 mm Hg) compared with clinic-based measurements (control group). Home monitoring also resulted in 11% more patients meeting their goal blood pressures, but the difference was not statistically significant.
Home monitoring was noted be associated with less therapeutic inertia, meaning there was more likely to be a medication change when the blood pressure failed to respond to the current one.
Hypertension control with home BP monitoring can be enhanced further when accompanied by plans to monitor and treat elevated BP such as through telemonitoring.
Hypertension remains the most common modifiable cardiovascular risk factor, yet hypertension control rates remain dismal. Home blood pressure (BP) monitoring has the potential to improve hypertension control, but as noted by the researchers the monitoring is of little value unless patients and their physicians act on the results, by titration of antihypertensive drugs, for example.