The importance of home blood pressure monitoring
High blood pressure, or hypertension, affects more than 900 million people
worldwide and is one of the leading causes of death from cardiovascular disease.
Research indicates that at-home self-measurement of blood pressure is beneficial
in several ways:
- It provides more blood pressure measurements within a
- Seeing results immediately and having more control over
your treatment can serve as an incentive.
- A log of blood pressure readings
can be helpful to your healthcare provider when adjusting your medication(s),
and diagnosing and preventing problems.
- Being able to check your blood pressure
in a variety of situations (at work, for example) may give a clearer
picture of your overall blood pressure health.
- Self-measurement can help detect "white coat" hypertension,
an elevation in blood pressure brought on by the anxiety of being
in a doctor's office.
- Those with normal blood pressure can verify their health
and be proactive.
Reviewers say the following about shopping for a home blood pressure monitor.
sure you can read the keys and display comfortably. Some models offer
extra-large displays, illuminated buttons and voice-announced readings.
- Look for a blood
pressure monitor that includes circuitry to compensate for an irregular
heartbeat, if you have one. Some monitors also include alarms to alert
users if the unit detects an irregular heartbeat.
- Choose a model with a carrying
case or pouch if you plan to travel with your monitor.
- Take your blood pressure
monitor to your healthcare provider when you first buy it, and
about every six months thereafter, to be tested against an office standard. Also
have the unit checked immediately if you drop it or if your readings suddenly