Do-It-Yourself Blood Pressure Checks
Compared to doctor's office, morning readings at home better assessed odds of trouble, study finds
By Steven Reinberg
MONDAY, March 28, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Keeping track of your blood pressure at home may provide a better indicator of your risk for heart disease and stroke than waiting to have it taken by your doctor, Japanese researchers report.
The study found the risk for heart disease and stroke was greater for patients whose morning systolic blood pressure -- the top number -- measured at home was 145 mm Hg compared with reading of less than 125 mm Hg.
"In clinical practice, morning home blood pressure may predict heart disease and stroke better than office blood pressure, and be more effective in managing high blood pressure," said lead researcher, Dr. Kazuomi Kario. He's a professor and chairman of the division of cardiovascular medicine at Jichi Medical University School of Medicine in Tochigi, Japan.
"Few reports have investigated the predictive ability of home blood pressure for heart disease and stroke," Kario said. "This largest home blood pressure study is the first to demonstrate that morning home blood pressure may be superior to clinic pressure," he said.
For the study, Kario and his colleagues followed more than 21,000 patients with high blood pressure for a little over two years. The mean age of the study volunteers was 65. During the study follow-up, 127 patients had strokes and 121 developed heart problems, the findings showed.
Strokes were significantly higher among those patients with a morning home systolic blood pressure of 145 mm Hg or higher, compared to those patients whose systolic blood pressure was less than 125 mm Hg. The comparable numbers for stroke risk measured in a doctor's office were 150 and higher, and less than 130, respectively, the researchers found.
The risk for heart disease was also higher among patients whose at-home systolic blood pressure was over 145 mm Hg compared to those who had blood pressure of 125 mm Hg or less at home. For the in-office reading, risk for heart disease was greater when blood pressure was 160 or higher compared to less than 130, the investigators found.