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Home blood pressure monitors 'as good as professional'

Tuesday June 2nd 2020

Home blood pressure monitoring is as likely to be as accurate as those in professional medical settings, according to a new study published today.

An observational study of patients on the hypertension register at seven practices in the West Midlands, England, found that those monitors that are validated and not more than four years old are most likely to be accurate.

Writing in the latest edition of BJGP, the authors say that 6,891 patients were invited to take part in the study and they received 1,543 (22%) responses.

A total of 410 (78%) of 526 monitors were provided for testing, but 79 proved to be unable to be tested because the monitor could not be separated from the cuff.

The 331 monitors tested comprised more than 50 different models, with the majority coming from three manufacturers: Boots (62), Lloyds (131), and Omron (108).

The researchers found that 251 of the 331 tested devices passed all monitor and cuff tests and 86% passed the static pressure test, with the pass rate being higher in validated monitors (96%, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 94 to 98%) compared with unvalidated monitors (64%, 95% CI = 58 to 69%).

Monitors that cost more than £10 has a CI of 86% to 94%), while those retailing for under £10 recorded a CI of 51% to 80%. Monitors under four years old also performed far better.

Results were analysed by frequency of use, length of time in service, make and model, monitor validation status, purchase price, and any previous testing.

Lead author Dr James Hodgkinson, from Birmingham University, said: “At a time when interest in self-monitoring is more pressing than ever, our study suggests practices can be reassured that most home monitors in current use by patients in UK primary care are likely to be accurate, especially if the devices are validated and not more than four years old.”

Hodgkinson JA, Lee MM, Milner S et al. Accuracy of blood-pressure monitors owned by patients with hypertension (ACCU-RATE study): a cross-sectional, observational study in central England. BJGP 2 June 2020

Tags: Heart Health | UK News

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