If you’re using a home monitor to track your blood pressure you may want to get a second opinion. New research shows home hypertension monitors may be inaccurate in up to 15 percent of patients.
The study, to be presented at an upcoming American Society of Nephrology conference by Canadian researchers, calls into question the effectiveness of heart prevention guidelines that recommend home blood pressure monitoring to guide diagnosis and treatment of patients with hypertension.
Lead researcher Swapnil Hiremath, M.D., of Ottawa Hospital and University of Ottawa, said the findings are based on comparisons of measurements from home blood pressure monitors with validated mercury sphygmomanometers, used in doctors' offices, in 210 patients.
The investigators found that between 8 percent and 32 percent of the 210 home monitor readings were inaccurate — a wide band of uncertainty that they said means up to one in seven hypertension patients may be getting incorrect information about their blood pressure.
"Home blood pressure monitors may be inaccurate in 5 percent to 15 percent of patients, depending on the threshold for accuracy used," said Dr. Hiremath. "We recommend all patients with home monitors get them validated with their health care providers at least once."
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