02 April 2006

Home blood pressure monitoring improves hypertension control

Patients with high blood pressure (hypertension) who monitor their blood pressure at home have better control of their condition, according to a new study published today at www.bmj.com by the BMJ. The study by Professor Francesco Cappuccio of the Department of Community Health Sciences, at St George's Hospital Medical School, will also be presented at the European Society of Hypertension in Paris.

Professor Cappuccio and his team of researchers analysed 18 blood pressure monitoring studies involving nearly 3000 people with hypertension. A total of 1359 monitored their blood pressure at home, while 1355 had their blood pressure monitored in the healthcare system.

They found that blood pressure was lower in people who had home blood pressure monitoring than in those who were seen in the healthcare system. A greater proportion of them also achieved blood pressure targets when assessed in the clinic.

"Although the reasons for this are not clear, blood pressure monitoring by patients at home is associated with better blood pressure values and improved control of hypertension than usual blood pressure monitoring in the healthcare system", Professor Cappuccio says.

"As home blood pressure monitoring is now feasible, acceptable to patients and generally reliable, it could help to involve patients more closely in the management of their own blood pressure and help to manage their hypertension more effectively", the authors conclude.

Find out more about home blood pressure monitors.