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Can J Cardiol. 1995 Nov;11 Suppl H:18H-22H.

Self-measurement of blood pressure: benefits, risks and interpretation of readings. The Canadian Coalition for High Blood Pressure Prevention and Control.

Author information

  • 1Department of General Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, Alberta.


The literature on the benefits and risks of self-measurement of blood pressure and interpretation of the readings was reviewed. Self-measurement of blood pressure is useful in selected patients with high blood pressure, can be used to monitor blood pressure closely outside health care facilities, and can determine whether patients have white coat hypertension. The involvement of patients in their own blood pressure management is increased and self measurement may result in more rapid achievement of target blood pressure readings, improvement in adherence to antihypertensive therapy and decreased health care utilization. However, some patients may not be suited to monitor their own blood pressure and some may experience an increase in anxiety regarding their health. With careful training and selection of patients, most can accurately assess their blood pressure. Self-measured readings are generally lower than readings in a physician's clinic (or office) and this must be accounted for in assessing response to therapy and usual levels of blood pressure. Self-measured readings are a valuable supplement to clinic readings in many patients.

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