According to a report in the American Journal of
Hypertension (November 2005), patients who monitor their
own high blood pressure (BP) at home show better overall
control of their condition than those who just rely on standard
monitoring at their physicians' offices. A study was conducted
at Turku University Hospital in Finland as the result of
disagreement over the effectiveness of home monitoring.
The study involved 55 primary health care centers.
A group of 113 patients measured their BP at home using an
automated device twice daily for 7 days and then again at 2, 4,
and 6 months. They returned their results to their respective
physicians' offices. Another group of 119 patients had their BP
measured in their primary care physicians' offices at the same
time periods. The physicians in both groups were instructed to
intensify treatment if target BP was not met.
At the end of the study, both groups showed marked drops
in BP, but the effects were more pronounced in the home-monitoring
group. The researchers also noted that more
patients in the home-monitoring group reached their target
BP. This may be partially related to more changes in BP medications
during the study: 85 changes in the home-monitoring
group versus 73 in the comparison group