Doctor's Office BP Measurements No Longer the Gold Standard

Reliance on conventional, in-office blood pressure (BP) measurements for the diagnosis of hypertension can lead to the overprescription of antihypertensive medications Home self-monitoring is becoming an increasingly acceptable choice for assessing antihypertensive treatment. This study is an important step forward in unseating the supremacy of physicians' office BP measurements.

JAMA October 1, 1997;278:1110,1065-1072.

COMMENT: If you have high blood pressure and you do not have a home monitor, please purchase one. Be sure to keep your receipt so you can exchange it for one that may work better. It is important to confirm that the instrument is reading accurately. You can take the unit to your doctor's office to calibrate the unit. If they read the same, your readings at home would be the more valid ones. Also it is important to regularly check your blood pressure if you have hypertension as it may stay well controlled for many months and start to rise very suddenly. If left unchecked this can contribute to strokes.

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