Measuring BP regularly at home is better way to predict risk of heart death

 
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Washington DC April 21 (TNS): A large study found that measuring blood pressure at home is a much stronger predictor of death than the blood pressure reading taken at the doctor’s office.

For people whose blood pressure rises when measured at the doctor’s office — a condition known as “white coat hypertension” — there may be a real reason to worry, new research shows.

According to CNBC reports, the risk of death was nearly twice as high for patients with white coat hypertension, compared to patients whose blood pressure is normal when taken at the doctor’s office and at home, the report published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday shows.

“White-coat hypertension is not benign,” said Dr. Haitham Ahmed, medical director of cardiac rehabilitation at Cleveland Clinic, who was not a part of the study. “If seeing a white coat increases your blood pressure, a lot of other stressors in life are expected to as well.”

Researchers from the Autonomous University of Madrid, who followed 64,000 people over five years, concluded that blood pressure measurements taken at home regularly were a stronger predictor of cardiovascular deaths than doctor’s office readings.

“We don’t want to dismiss white coat hypertension,” said Dr. Raymond Townsend, director of the hypertension program at Penn Medicine and author of the study’s editorial via email. “We encourage our patients to do blood pressure readings at home. That is a good way to not only monitor blood pressure where you actually “live”, but it also provides a lot of insight for patients to understand how life’s little indiscretions, like take-out Chinese with extra soy sauce, can truly affect your blood pressure the next day.”

“Life is not void of stressors. That’s what life is all about. So it’s better that you control your blood pressure so that even when those stressors increase, it’s not causing damage to your blood vessels.”

“Life is not void of stressors. That’s what life is all about. So it’s better that you control your blood pressure so that even when those stressors increase, it’s not causing damage to your blood vessels.”

A 24-hour monitor that checks blood pressure throughout the day, to determine if it’s truly elevated and to follow up with the doctor three months later. When choosing a home blood pressure monitor, the American Heart Association recommends an automatic, cuff-style, upper arm monitor. Wrist and finger monitors are not recommended because they yield less reliable readings. TNS/CNBC