Home blood pressure assessments are more accurate than office checks

November 21, 2018

Doctors could improve the care of high blood pressure by relying more on home blood pressure (BP) checks and not so much on the less-accurate office BP assessments, wrote health care quality experts from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) in an editorial in the journal JAMA.

"As the evidence in favor of HBPM (home blood pressure monitoring) continues to accumulate, it is time to update how the quality of hypertension care is evaluated and reported," wrote Kevin Hwang, M.D., M.P.H., and Eric Thomas, M.D., M.P.H., of the UTHealth Memorial Hermann Center for Healthcare Quality and Safety.

A reason for the blood pressure disparities is a phenomenon called the "white coat syndrome."

"Many people get nervous when they see a doctor or a nurse and their blood pressure goes up," said Hwang, who is an associate professor of internal medicine at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth.

The result is that doctors may be prescribing treatments for problems that may not be as bad as they appear in a doctor's office.

Because 10 to 50 percent of patients with high office BP readings have normal readings at home, Hwang and Thomas would like to see doctors confirm their diagnosis and monitor treatment with home devices. There are many types of home blood pressure monitors - some of which relay results over the internet.

High blood pressure increases the risk of a host of health issues including heart attack, stroke, chronic heart failure and kidney disease. Worse yet, one in five adults with high blood pressure do not know they have it. More than 360,000 American deaths in 2013 included high blood pressure as a primary or contributing cause, which comes out to about 1,000 a day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Other benefits of home testing, according to the authors, include giving doctors additional information to analyze, reducing the need for clinic visits and getting patients more involved in their care.

On the downside, patients could misuse the home devices and provide their caregivers with inaccurate information, the authors wrote.

In addition to helping clinicians make more informed decisions, expanding the use of home blood pressure monitoring would help health care organizations evaluate the quality of care they provide and the health risks of their patients, the authors wrote.

Also contributing to the editorial was Laura Petersen, M.D., M.P.H., of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center and Baylor College of Medicine.

Thomas is a professor, associate dean for healthcare quality and holder of the Griff T. Ross Professorship in Humanities and Technology in Health Care at McGovern Medical School.
-end-


University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Related Blood Pressure Articles from Brightsurf:

Children who take steroids at increased risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, blood clots
Children who take oral steroids to treat asthma or autoimmune diseases have an increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and blood clots, according to Rutgers researchers.

High blood pressure treatment linked to less risk for drop in blood pressure upon standing
Treatment to lower blood pressure did not increase and may decrease the risk of extreme drops in blood pressure upon standing from a sitting position.

Changes in blood pressure control over 2 decades among US adults with high blood pressure
National survey data were used to examine how blood pressure control changed overall among U.S. adults with high blood pressure between 1999-2000 and 2017-2018 and by age, race, insurance type and access to health care.

Transient increase in blood pressure promotes some blood vessel growth
Blood vessels are the body's transportation system, carrying oxygen and nutrients to cells and whisking away waste.

Effect of reducing blood pressure medications on blood pressure control in older adults
Whether the amount of blood pressure medications taken by older adults could be reduced safely and without a significant change in short-term blood pressure control was the objective of this randomized clinical trial that included 534 adults 80 and older.

Brain blood flow sensor discovery could aid treatments for high blood pressure & dementia
A study led by researchers at UCL has discovered the mechanism that allows the brain to monitor its own blood supply, a finding in rats which may help to find new treatments for human conditions including hypertension (high blood pressure) and dementia.

Here's something that will raise your blood pressure
The apelin receptor (APJ) has been presumed to play an important role in the contraction of blood vessels involved in blood pressure regulation.

New strategy for treating high blood pressure
The key to treating blood pressure might lie in people who are 'resistant' to developing high blood pressure even when they eat high salt diets, shows new research published today in Experimental Physiology.

Arm cuff blood pressure measurements may fall short for predicting heart disease risk in some people with resistant high blood pressure
A measurement of central blood pressure in people with difficult-to-treat high blood pressure could help reduce risk of heart disease better than traditional arm cuff readings for some patients, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association's Hypertension 2019 Scientific Sessions.

Heating pads may lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure when lying down
In people with supine hypertension due to autonomic failure, a condition that increases blood pressure when lying down, overnight heat therapy significantly decreased systolic blood pressure compared to a placebo.

Read More: Blood Pressure News and Blood Pressure Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.