Home Monitoring Helps Control BP
According to a report in the American Journal ofHypertension (November 2005), patients who monitor theirown high blood pressure (BP) at home show better overallcontrol of their condition than those who just rely on standardmonitoring at their physicians' offices. A study was conductedat Turku University Hospital in Finland as the result ofdisagreement 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 anautomated device twice daily for 7 days and then again at 2, 4,and 6 months. They returned their results to their respectivephysicians' offices. Another group of 119 patients had their BPmeasured in their primary care physicians' offices at the sametime periods. The physicians in both groups were instructed tointensify treatment if target BP was not met.
At the end of the study, both groups showed marked dropsin BP, but the effects were more pronounced in the home-monitoringgroup. The researchers also noted that morepatients in the home-monitoring group reached their targetBP. This may be partially related to more changes in BP medicationsduring the study: 85 changes in the home-monitoringgroup versus 73 in the comparison group