Home blood pressure test may be better than office test for predicting cardiovascular events

Home blood pressure monitoring may have better prognostic accuracy than office blood pressure measurements for patients treated for high blood pressure, according to a study in the March 17 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Guillaume Bobrie, M.D., from the Hopital Europeen Georges Pompidou, Paris, and colleagues from the SHEAF (Self-Measurement of Blood Pressure at Home in the Elderly: Assessment and Follow-up) study assessed the prognostic value of home versus office blood pressure measurement by general practitioners in a European population of elderly patients treated for hypertension (high blood pressure). Office and home blood pressure and cardiac risk factors were measured at baseline (the start of the study) in a group of 4,939 patients being treated for hypertension. The average age of the study participants was 70 years and 48.9 percent of the participants were men. The patients were followed up for an average of 3.2 years.

The researchers report that at the end of the study follow-up at least one cardiovascular event (for example: cardiovascular cause of death, or non-fatal heart attack, stroke, angioplasty, coronary artery bypass graft surgery) had occurred in 324 patients. "For BP (blood pressure) self-measurement at home, each 10-mm Hg (millimeters of mercury) increase in systolic [first, larger BP number] BP increased the risk of a cardiovascular event by 17.2 percent and each 5-mm Hg increase in diastolic [second, smaller BP number] BP increased that risk by 11.7 percent," the authors write. "Conversely, for the same increase in BP observed using office measurement, there was no significant increase in the risk of a cardiovascular event."

"In conclusion, home BP self-measurement has a better prognostic value than office BP measurement. In this elderly population, office BP measurement failed to identify 13 percent of patients with elevated BP in the office but not at home with a good

Contact: Guillaume Bobrie
JAMA and Archives Journals

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