BY AMY SYNNOTT
If you have hypertension, measuring your blood pressure at home allows you to monitor your efforts to lower your blood pressure on a daily basis, which is why major organisations like the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology now recommend it as a routine component of care for patients with high blood pressure. Inexpensive and easy to perform, these devices can radically improve patient’s understanding of their own blood pressure while allowing their doctors to see how their blood pressure at home compares to in office measurements which are often skewed.
Studies show measurements taken by patients at home are often lower than readings taken in the office (most likely because they eliminate white coat hypertension, false readings caused by anxiety). Home monitors more closely mirror BP recorded by 24-hour ambulatory monitors, which are considered the most accurate predictor of cardiovascular risk because they allow your doctor to see how your blood pressure fluctuates throughout the day—at work, at play, and at rest.
Home blood pressure monitors are, of course, far more convenient for patients to use because they don’t require being attached to a machine for 24 hours. The biggest barrier to widespread use: Many candidates for home monitoring don’t know how to use them (and most likely think they are harder to use than they really are). Here’s everything you need to know to use a home blood pressure monitor accurately at home.
How Take An Accurate Reading
Buying the Right Home Blood Pressure Monitor
The PULSE monitor is the first home device that’s FDA-approved to measure both central blood pressure and peripheral (brachial) blood pressure. Central blood pressure is important because it measures pressure coming out of the heart, which is different from pressure in your arm.
Pressure at the heart is affected by factors like arterial stiffness (the rigidity of the arterial wall) so it provides a more comprehensive, nuanced picture of vascular health near key organs like the heart, brain, and kidneys.
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