WASHINGTON, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- Home blood pressure monitoring improved hypertension control, according to results of a pilot initiative presented at the on-going American Heart Association's Joint Hypertension 2018 Scientific Sessions.
According to Roy R. Champion, clinical quality registered nurse at Scott and White Health Plan in Texas, less than one in five providers were including home blood pressure monitoring in documentations for hypertension patients.
Champion said that home monitoring combined with doctor visits to measure a patient's blood pressure helped to avoid numbers skewed by "white-coat hypertension," when blood pressure was high in a medical setting but not in everyday life, and "masked hypertension," when blood pressure is normal in a medical setting but high at home.
Champion studied the impact of an intervention that provided free home blood pressure monitors, online and print resources for tracking their readings, and monitoring reminders to 2,550 adult patients with persistent uncontrolled high blood pressure.
By their third office visit, nearly 67 percent of patients had their blood pressure controlled, and nearly 60 percent of patients had blood pressure control by their sixth visit, according to the study.
At the end of the intervention, systolic blood pressures had decreased an average 16.9 mmHg and diastolic blood pressures fell an average 6.5 mmHg.
In the six months after the intervention, nearly 80 percent of the participants achieved blood pressure under control.
"Even with the more stringent guidelines, we showed home blood pressure monitoring is vital to achieving control among hypertensive patients," Champion said.
Home monitoring helps providers better understand patients' everyday blood pressure numbers in a cost-saving way that doesn't increase the burden on patients or providers, Champion said.