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Home Blood-Pressure Monitoring Recommended
Date:5/22/2008

"Only about one third of the people with high blood pressure have it under control, so clearly new approaches are needed to get better control," Goff said. Everyday monitoring is not necessary, but blood pressure readings should be taken "several times a week," he said.

Some of the specific recommendations include:

  • Patients should purchase a blood pressure monitor (some cost less than $100) with cuffs that fit on the upper arm, with advice from a health-care provider on its use. Wrist monitors are not recommended.
  • Two or three readings should be taken at a time, one minute apart, while resting in a seated position. The arm should be supported, with the upper arm at heart level and feet on the floor.
  • Readings should be taken at the same time every day, as recommended by a health-care provider.
  • The target goal is a reading under 135/85, or less than 130/80 in high-risk individuals.

The home monitoring recommendations open the door to a totally new way of controlling blood pressure, Oparil said.

"The future will be telemedicine," she said. "You would take your own blood pressure at home and transmit it to a computer, and someone, either a physician or another caregiver, will make recommendations for adjustments in your medication."

More information

For more on hypertension, visit the American Heart Association.



SOURCES: Suzanne Oparil, M.D., professor of medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham; David Goff, M.D., Ph.D., chair of epidemiology and prevention, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, N.C.; May 2008, online, Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association; June 2008, online, Journal of the American Society of Hypertension and the Journal of Clinical Hypertension; June 2008, Journal of Cardiovas
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