Morning Report

Can You Trust Home Blood Pressure Monitoring?

Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH


May 19, 2017

Hello. I'm Dr Arefa Cassoobhoy, a practicing internist and a medical editor for Medscape and WebMD. Welcome to Morning Report, our 1-minute news story for primary care.

The Accuracy of Home Blood Pressure Monitors

To follow patients with hypertension, many clinicians recommend home blood pressure monitors. But are these devices accurate enough? A recent study says no.

When patients' own home blood pressure device [readings] were compared with office measurements, 70% of the time, the home device was off by at least 5 mm Hg, and 30% of the time, they were off by at least 10 mm Hg. Home monitors were most inaccurate with systolic blood pressure, and larger discrepancies were seen with men.

Most guidelines endorse the use of home blood pressure monitoring to avoid over- or undertreatment. So, we need to find ways to improve accuracy.

It's important for patients to purchase validated devices and use the proper-size cuff. Treatment decisions must be based on multiple blood pressure records. Plus, a check against your own office measurement is always a good idea.

For Medscape and WebMD, I'm Dr Arefa Cassoobhoy.

Follow Dr Cassoobhoy on Twitter at @ArefaMD


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