A new approach may help with the inconvenience and costrelated to blood pressure monitoring. Researchers at the MayoClinic College of Medicine (Rochester, Minn) found that successin reaching target blood pressure levels appears to be improvedusing home blood pressure measurements to guide treatment ina physician-supervised, nurse-managed clinic.
The study, reported in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings (January2005), involved 106 patients who first attended the HypertensionCare Clinic for several days in a row. All of the patients weregiven a drug treatment plan, and they were educated abouthypertension and cardiovascular disease preventive measures.For the study, the patients were told to measure their blood pressureat home twice daily for a 7-day period at 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12months. The results were then sent to the clinic nurse, and drugtreatment was increased if blood pressure readings were not<135/85 mm Hg. The approach proved successful because thepercentage of patients who achieved the target blood pressurereadings increased from 0% at the beginning of the study to63% after 1 year.