Association Pushes for Home Monitoring
The American Heart Association (AHA)is encouraging more home monitoring ofblood pressure. The recommendation ispart of AHA's revised guidelines, which hadnot been updated since 1993. Thomas G.Pickering, MD, believed the update wasnecessary because it has become clearthat traditional office measurement isenhanced "by having patients record theirblood pressure at home." Authors of theguidelines noted that home monitoring isan easy way to measure blood pressureover long periods of time. There is alsosome evidence that it may encourage individualsto maintain better blood pressurecontrol by adhering to their medications.
Home monitoring may be helpful forindividuals whose blood pressure rises assoon as they are in their physician's office,known as "white-coat hypertension." Anotherbenefit of home monitoring is that itmay be useful for individuals with maskedhypertension. This is a condition whereblood pressure is normal in the physician'soffice, but high in daily life.
In order to ensure that the device isoperating properly and the patients areusing it correctly, Dr. Pickering recommendsthat patients bring their monitor totheir physician's office.