The most effective way to monitor blood pressure may be to do it yourself.
British researchers randomly assigned 1,003 patients with hypertension to one of three groups. The first took their own readings daily for one week every month over the course of a year and mailed them to a doctor. A second used a phone app, sending their readings to the doctor through a web-based system. A control group was assigned to “usual care,” in which patients had their blood pressure checked at their doctor’s office. The data gathered was used to adjust medication.
The average systolic reading (the top number) for all patients was about 153 at the start. By the end of 12 months, members of the control group had lowered their average to 140. But the telemonitoring group and the self-monitoring group had lowered theirs to 136 and 137, respectively. The authors estimate these lower numbers would lower stroke risk by 20 percent and coronary artery disease risk by 10 percent. The study was published in Lancet.
“People who monitor their own blood pressure and share the readings with their physician get better control,” said the lead author, Dr. Richard J. McManus, a professor of
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