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Blood pressure news
Home monitoring and phone calls lower blood pressure
The Blood Pressure Association recommends home monitoring for everyone with high blood pressure to help them take control of their condition. Research from America confirms the positive blood pressure lowering effects of this approach.
The BPA promotes home monitoring because people who take an active interest in their condition are more successful in lowering and keeping it down. Taking regular home blood pressure readings helps you to understand how your blood pressure is changing over time and how making lifestyle changes and taking medications help to lower it. It also allows you to take positive action by visiting your doctor for further help if your blood pressure fails to fall to its target level or starts to rise again.
Researchers at Duke University followed 475 people with high blood pressure for two years. They trialled four approaches to helping people to control their blood pressure:
- no extra support - people in this group were given just standard treatment and follow ups
- home blood pressure monitoring - people in this group were given a home blood pressure monitor to measure at home three times a week
- telephone support from a nurse - people in this group every two months people were called by a nurse to discuss side-effects, diet and exercise, stopping smoking and other blood pressure concerns
- home blood pressure monitoring and telephone support combined - people in this group were given monitors and called regularly.
They found that home blood pressure monitoring helped to lower blood pressure when compared with people who had no extra help. And people were even more successful if they also received regular encouraging phone calls in addition to measuring at home:
- home measurements without phone calls lowered blood pressure by 0.6mmHg lower than people who had no extra help
- home monitoring and regular phone calls lowered blood pressure by 3.9mmHg when compared with no extra help.
In terms of blood pressure control, there was an improvement of:
- 7.6 per cent for people who measured their blood pressure at home three times a week
- 11 per cent for people who monitored their blood pressure at home and received encouraging phone calls from a nurse.
Bosworth HB, Olsen MK, Grubber JM et al. Two Self-management Interventions to Improve Hypertension Control. Annals of Internal Medicine 17 November 2009; 151 (10). Early release on website: http://www.annals.org/cgi/content/full/0000605-200911170-00148v1
Topics: Research, Medicines, Lifestyle, Measurement, High blood pressure