In-office readings may not reveal a patient?s actual average blood pressure. The results of a Flemish study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (June 12, 2003) confirm that 24-hour monitoring is much more accurate. In the study, nearly 2000 people wore ambulatory blood pressure monitoring devices that measured their blood pressure every half hour. After 5 years, researchers assessed how accurate this 24-hour monitoring was in predicting cardiovascular problems.
?This study explains some of the events that occur in people who seem to have good blood pressure readings in the office,? a commentator said. ?Even patients with a normal blood pressure reading in the office can have an elevated blood pressure on the 24-hour monitor.?