Cardiology

Self-measured blood pressure benefits management of hypertension

A new study has provided more evidence that self-measured blood pressure (BP) is beneficial for the management of hypertension.

Hypertension is a specific condition in which blood pressure measures consistently higher than normal. Hypertension is often called the silent killer as it has no warning signs or symptoms, and can only be diagnosed through blood pressure measurement. It can affect anyone and is more common as we age. Once hypertension develops, it usually lasts for life. It is among the leading causes of death and disability worldwide. 

Previous studies have contradicted over the benefits of self-measured BP for the management of hypertension. Researchers at University of Oxford led by Prof. Richard McManus assessed the efficacy of self-monitored BP for the titration of antihypertensive medication, 1,182 patients with hypertension were randomly assigned to three groups in which BP was controlled by self-monitoring, by self-monitoring and telemonitoring, or by clinic measurements. 

The results from this study which were reported in The Lancet showed that the primary outcome of mean systolic BP after 12 months was lower in the two self-monitoring groups with or without telemonitoring compared with clinic measurements. 

The findings from this study support the use of self-measured BP to guide antihypertensive therapy. The reduction in BP in the self-monitoring groups is estimated to reduce the risk of stroke by 20% and the risk of coronary heart disease by 10%. However, long-term follow-up of the patients will inform about the effect on mortality.

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