Dr. Holmberg is a freelance clinical writer based in Phoenix, Arizona.

Using Good Technique for Home Blood Pressure Monitoring

In order to obtain an accurate home blood pressure reading, it is important that the patient follows good technique. The AHA recommends the following:

? Choose a cuff that fits properly around the upper arm
? Avoid nicotine, caffeine, or exercise for 30 minutes prior to the blood pressure reading
? Sit with a straight and supported back
? Keep both feet flat on the floor
? Place the middle of the cuff directly over the brachial artery. Rest the arm on a flat surface, such as a table or countertop, which allows the upper arm to be at heart level.
? Take 2 or 3 readings, each a minute apart, and record each value
? Obtain readings at consistent times throughout the day as directed by a health care professional. For example, some professionals may wish to see morning and evening readings to assess blood pressure control throughout the day.

Per the Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC 7), hypertension is defined as blood pressure of ≥140/90 mm Hg (130/80 mm Hg for patients with diabetes). Treatment with antihypertensive medications has been associated with a decrease in the incidence of complications from hypertension, such as stroke, myocardial infarction, and heart failure.1

Often called the "silent killer," hypertension may not have any symptoms, and when uncontrolled, it can lead to organ and blood vessel damage, especially in the kidneys and heart. An estimated 1 in 3 American adults has hypertension—and may not even know it.2

Time of day may influence blood pressure control goals and the potential for hypertension-related morbidity. Patients experiencing morning hypertension—a weekly average blood pressure reading of over 135/85 mm Hg within 1 to 2 hours of awakening in the morning—may be at an increased risk for stroke, organ damage, and other cardiovascular events. Identifying morning hypertension may be challenging, as often the rise in blood pressure may have subsided by the time the patient presents to their medical provider.

Home monitoring can help to track earlymorning trends, thus recognizing morning hypertension and optimizing its treatment.3

Home Blood Pressure Monitoring: Omron HEM-780

The Omron HEM-780 automatic blood pressure monitor offers an accurate and easy way for patients to monitor their blood pressure readings at any time of day. This monitor is the first and only blood pressure monitor designed to detect morning hypertension.4 The machine automatically averages the morning readings for each user and displays an alert if the weekly average is above 135/85 mm Hg.5

In addition to the morning hypertension alert, the HEM-780 is able to detect any irregularities in the heartbeat. It also offers a hypertension indicator and can store 200 values with a time and date stamp for up to 2 different individuals and a guest.

The HEM-780 offers the 1-touch automatic operation. It also features the IntelliSense system, which inflates the cuff to its ideal level each time the monitor is used, without requiring the patient to specify an inflation level prior to each use. This allows a quicker and more comfortable reading for the patient. The product's ComFit Cuff is a patented preformed cuff promoted to provide a comfortable, easy fit for medium or large arms. The TruRead mode takes 3 consecutive measurements, each 1 minute apart, as recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA), and displays the average of the 3 values.4

The HEM-780 has been tested per the protocols of the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instruments (AAMI) and the European Society of Hypertension.4 The AHA recommends that patients choose a monitor that has been approved, tested, and validated by the AAMI, the British Hypertension Society, or the International Protocol for the Validation of Automated Blood Pressure Measuring Devices.6


  1. JNC 7 Express The Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure. US Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Web site. www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/hypertension/express.pdf. Accessed August 2008.
  2. What is high blood pressure? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Web site. www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/Hbp/HBP_WhatIs.html. Accessed August 2008.
  3. What is morning hypertension and how do I know I have it? Omron Healthcare Inc Web site. www.omronhealthcare.com/article/detail.asp?c=238. Accessed August 2008.
  4. HEM-780 Product Information. Omron Healthcare Inc Web site. www.omronhealthcare.com/product/detail.asp?p=1117&t=186. Accessed August 2008.
  5. Dangerous Condition Underscores Importance of Home Blood Pressure Monitoring. Omron Healthcare Web site. www.omronhealthcare.com/news/detail.asp?c=255. Accessed August 2008.
  6. Home monitoring of high blood pressure. American Heart Association Web site. www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=576. Accessed August 2008.