Home blood pressure monitoring has become an increasingly popular tool for individuals to track and manage their blood pressure levels. With an array of highly-rated monitors available on the market, measuring blood pressure at home is now more accessible than ever.
In this blog post, we will discuss
- why measuring blood pressure is important
- who should consider monitoring their blood pressure at home, and
- provide a list of recommended blood pressure monitors.
Home blood pressure devices are generally not as accurate as the ones used in health care facilities but are usually accurate enough to be helpful. In general, when the cuff is closer to the heart, the reading is more accurate (for example, upper arm cuffs are more accurate than wrist cuffs).
Why it is Important to Measure Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is an important measure of the cardiovascular health of an individual. It measures the force of blood against the walls of the arteries and can be used as an indicator of potential heart disease, stroke, and other health conditions. Consistently high blood pressure can lead to damage to the blood vessels and organs and result in serious health consequences. By measuring blood pressure regularly, individuals can monitor their levels and take appropriate actions to manage their health. For most people, checking blood pressure at home is unnecessary, and occasional checks at the doctor’s office are adequate. However, there are times when checking blood pressure at home can be helpful:
- Blood pressure is high only in certain situations, such as at the doctor’s office (sometimes called “white coat syndrome”).
- A person has occasional symptoms that indicate very high or very low blood pressure, but office blood pressures are normal.
- To check the effects of a new blood pressure medication before the next scheduled doctor’s visit.
- To help decide what time of day to take blood pressure medication, especially for a person who takes multiple pills.
Who Should Measure Blood Pressure at Home
Individuals with hypertension, or high blood pressure, are often advised to measure their blood pressure at home. This is because regular monitoring can provide important information about blood pressure levels over time, which can inform treatment plans and lifestyle changes. Additionally, individuals with a family history of hypertension or other cardiovascular diseases may benefit from monitoring their blood pressure at home.
How to Measure Blood Pressure at Home
To get the most accurate reading, you should sit for at least 5-10 minutes in a quiet room. Keep your feet flat on the floor and lean back against the back of the chair. During the reading, stay as still as possible. Do not talk, eat, or drink. Also, many extraneous factors, such as muscle tension in the arm, can make blood pressure falsely high; the lowest reading is often the most accurate reading.
Recommended Blood Pressure Monitors
When it comes to purchasing a home blood pressure monitor, there are many options available., not all monitors are created equal.
The following monitors have been highly rated and recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.CDC.gov) and cardiologists:
- Omron Platinum Blood Pressure Monitor
This monitor has a Bluetooth feature that can connect to a smartphone app, allowing individuals to track their blood pressure levels and share the information with their healthcare providers. It also features multi-user support, allowing multiple users to track their blood pressure levels on the same device.
- Beurer BM67 Blood Pressure Monitor
This monitor has a large LCD and features an adjustable cuff that fits a range of arm sizes. It can also store data for multiple users and provide an average of the last three readings.
- QardioArm Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor
This monitor connects to a smartphone app and provides reminders to take blood pressure readings. It also has a compact design, making it easy to take on the go.
For additional validated blood pressure monitoring devices, visit https://www.validatebp.org/.
Measuring blood pressure at home can benefit patients with a variety of health conditions, including hypertension, diabetes, and kidney disease. Other conditions that may benefit from regular blood pressure monitoring include heart disease, stroke, and sleep apnea. By monitoring blood pressure levels, you can track changes over time and take action to manage your health effectively. Patients with hypertension or a family history of cardiovascular diseases are often advised to monitor their blood pressure regularly to inform treatment plans and lifestyle changes.
Patients can print this blood pressure log to record their self-measured blood pressure (SMBP) measurements at home.
Home blood pressure monitoring is an important tool for patients to track and manage their cardiovascular health. If you think home blood pressure monitoring might be helpful for you, talk with your provider at Academic Medical. We can offer guidance on choosing a quality device and instruct you on when and how often to check your blood pressure.