Older adults should check their blood pressure at home

A new study finds that only 48% of people ages 50 to 80 who take blood pressure medication or have a health condition affected by high blood pressure get their blood pressure checked regularly at home or elsewhere.

A somewhat higher number – but still only 62% – say their health care provider encouraged them to have such examinations. Survey participants who recommended their providers check their blood pressure at home were three and a half times more likely to do so than those who didn’t remember getting such a recommendation.

The findings underscore the importance of exploring why patients at risk don’t get their blood pressure checked, and why providers don’t recommend screening — as well as finding ways to get more people with these health conditions to get their blood tested. pressure regularly. The study authors say this could play an important role in helping patients live longer and maintaining a healthy heart and brain.

Previous research has shown that regular home monitoring can help control blood pressure, and that better control can mean a lower risk of death; Cardiovascular events including strokes and heart attacks. Cognitive impairment and dementia.

The results were published in JAMA Network Open by a team from Michigan Medicine, University of Michigan Academic Medical Center. The data comes from the National Survey on Healthy Aging and builds on a report released last year.

The survey, conducted at the UM Institute for Health Care Policy and Innovation and supported by Michigan Medicine and AARP, asked adults ages 50 to 80 about their chronic health conditions, out-of-clinic blood pressure monitoring, and interactions with health providers about blood pressure. Study authors Mellanie V. Springer, MD, MS, of the Michigan Department of Neurology, and Deborah Levine, MD, MPH, of the Department of Internal Medicine, worked with the NPHA team to develop survey questions and analyze the results.

The data in the new paper comes from 1,247 participants who said they were either taking medication to control blood pressure or had a chronic health condition that required blood pressure control — specifically, a history of stroke, coronary heart disease and congestive heart failure. diabetes, chronic kidney disease or high blood pressure.

Among them, 55% said they own a sphygmomanometer, although some said they do not use it at all. Among those using them, there was a wide variation in how often they checked their pressure – and only half said they shared their readings with their health care provider. But those with a device were 10 times more likely to have their blood pressure checked outside of health care settings than those without a device.

The authors note that blood pressure monitoring is associated with lower blood pressure and is cost-effective. They say the findings suggest that protocols should be developed to educate patients about the importance of self-monitoring of blood pressure and sharing of readings with clinicians.


Michigan Medicine – University of Michigan

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