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Study offers more support for blood pressure self-monitoring

Self-monitoring of blood pressure (BP), with or without telemonitoring, can lead to significant reductions in systolic BP, finds a Lancet study.

Nearly 1,200 hypertensive adults with BP not controlled below 140/90 mm Hg despite antihypertensive medications were randomised to one of three groups: clinic BP measurement alone (usual care), self-monitoring alone, or self-monitoring with telemonitoring.

At 12 months, mean systolic BP was significantly lower with self-monitoring alone (137 mm Hg) and self-monitoring plus telemonitoring (136 mm Hg) than with usual care; the difference between the two self-monitoring groups was not significant. The self-monitoring groups received slightly, albeit significantly, more BP medications than the usual-care group.

The researchers note that the BP reductions with self-monitoring “would be expected to result in around a 20% reduction in stroke risk and 10% reduction in coronary heart disease risk.”