Here’s why you should monitor blood pressure at home

Desiree Burns
September 12, 2018

Bacteria in your gut - millions of microorganisms found in the intestines - could help unlock key information about how to better regulate and prevent high blood pressure.

A new study has found that home blood pressure monitoring improves hypertension control and saves medical costs.

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.

Patients' blood pressures were between 130-160/80-99 mmHg but they were not taking medications to lower blood pressure at the time of the study. By the sixth visit, the rate was about 60 percent, the study authors reported. He's a clinical quality registered nurse at Scott and White Health Plan in Temple, Texas.

In a study presented to an American Heart Association conference, United States researchers recruited 129 men and women who met these criteria: all were overweight or obese; all had blood pressure readings between 130-160/80-99; and none were taking any medication for it.

The results of the pilot initiative were presented at the American Heart Association's Joint Hypertension 2018 Scientific Sessions.

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According to research, most vegetarians have significantly lower blood pressure as compared to individuals who consume meals high in fats. And 72 percent achieved blood pressure control under the 2017 American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology guidelines.

Based on trends noted during medical record reviews, Champion said less than one in five providers were including home blood pressure monitoring in the documentation for hypertension patients.

Hinderliter suspects lifestyle modifications would be just as helpful to people with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and in patients on medications for high blood pressure but that needs confirmation in future studies, he said.

Each monitor and accompanying kit cost an average of $38.50 and led to significant cost savings. Plan to bring your monitor into the doctor's office at least once a year to make sure it's still working correctly, and never adjust your medication or treatment plan without consulting your physician.

The condition, which is also known as hypertension, increases the risk of some deadly complications, including heart attacks and strokes.

For example, nutritionists recommend eating more guava, a tropical fruit that contains a lot of vitamin C and antioxidants, potassium and soluble fiber, which not only lower the blood pressure, but also cholesterol levels.

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