Forgot your password?

Back to login

Home blood pressure monitors wrong most of the time
July 2, 2017, 2:07 pm

Millions of people often rely on home blood pressure monitors to track that vital health sign. However, a new study suggests that readings from these devices could be inaccurate 7 out of 10 times and would be putting patients at risk.

The researchers in Canada found the units were not accurate within five mmHg of blood pressure about 70 percent of the time. And the devices were off the mark by at least 10 mmHg about 30 percent of the time.

The importance of ensuring home blood pressure monitors are accurate cannot be overstressed as inaccuracy in the readings could have serious consequences for people's health. Regular monitoring and treating high blood pressure (hypertension) have been found to decrease the consequences of the disease.

The team behind the study says that, rather than throw away such home blood pressure monitors, patients can minimize inaccurate readings by following some of these methods.

First, compare the blood pressure machine measurement with a blood pressure measurement in a clinic to determine the accuracy of home blood pressure readings.

Second, do several blood pressure measurements at different times and after different activities, and then base treatment decisions on these multiple readings.

Third, learn to use the equipment properly.  Certain factors such as inappropriately sized arm cuffs or patients with a specific type of blood pressure, may combine with inaccurate readings to give some patients a "a false sense of security.

Home monitoring empowers patients and it is no doubt helpful for clinicians to have a bigger picture rather than just one snapshot in time. Many physicians request their patients to keep daily logs of their blood pressures using an automated device and immediately inform the doctor of any upward trend in the readings.

Share your views

"It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed."

"Envy comes from wanting something that isn't yours. But grief comes from losing something you've already had."

Photo Gallery