Taking blood pressure readings at home can work better than going to the doctor’s office for some patients, a new study suggests.
Patients who did their own ‘self-monitoring’ by taking blood pressure readings at home and who also changed their medicine as required were shown to have healthier blood pressure levels after a year compared to those who only got it done at the doctor’s office, according to the study published the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA.)
The study followed 450 older patients with an average age of 70, who previously had heart trouble as well as strokes, diabetes or kidney disease, for a year. Around half of the group received their usual care and the rest did self-monitoring at home.
At the start of the study, the average blood pressure measurements were about 143 over 80. By the end of the year study period those numbers has dropped to about 128 over 74 in the self-monitoring patients and 138 over 76 in the group that did not self-monitor.
It was estimated by the researchers that the group that self-monitored their blood pressure could see up to a 30% reduced risk of stroke if the lower measurements they achieved were maintained.
Self-monitoring blood pressure at home is becoming more common and home blood-pressure monitors can now be purchased in many countries across the globe.