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J Hum Hypertens. 2010 Dec;24(12):801-6. doi: 10.1038/jhh.2010.15. Epub 2010 Feb 18.

Self blood pressure monitoring: a worthy substitute for ambulatory blood pressure?

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Metabolic Unit, University Department of Medical Sciences, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, UK.


The European Society of Hypertension (ESH), the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Society of Hypertension (ASH) have published guidelines for self-monitoring of blood pressure (SBPM). We aimed to demonstrate the equivalence of SBPM with ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) in the assessment of hypertension. A total of 87 consecutive subjects referred from primary care for standard ABPM underwent a 1-week period of SBPM, as defined by the ESH guidelines, either before or after ABPM. There was no difference in mean blood pressure (BP): SBPM 142/87 mm Hg, daytime average ABPM 141/86 mm Hg. The intra-class correlation coefficient was 0.72 and 0.89 for systolic and diastolic pressure, respectively. SBPM is concordant with ABPM in classifying subjects as hypertensive or normotensive in 87% of cases (κ=0.56). The coefficient of variation of SBPM compared with ABPM was 5%. In answer to a direct question 81% of subjects preferred SBPM to ABPM. The current self-monitoring schedule recommended by the ESH, AHA and ASH is valid. The mean BP obtained from SBPM is equivalent to awake-time BP on ABPM, the accepted reference standard for 'out of office' BP measurement. SBPM is simpler to carry out, preferred by patients and should be considered on a par with ABPM.

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