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Blood Press Monit. 2016 Apr;21(2):95-102. doi: 10.1097/MBP.0000000000000166.

The use of ambulatory blood pressure monitoring to confirm a diagnosis of high blood pressure by primary-care physicians in Oregon.

Author information

1
aKaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, Portland, Oregon bCollege of Graduate Health Sciences, A.T. Still University, Mesa, Arizona, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Hypertension is the most commonly diagnosed medical condition in the USA. Unfortunately, patients are misdiagnosed in primary care because of inaccurate office-based blood pressure measurements. Several US healthcare organizations currently recommend confirming an office-based hypertension diagnosis with ambulatory blood pressure monitoring to avoid overtreatment; however, its use for the purpose of confirming an office-based hypertension diagnosis is relatively unknown.

METHODS:

This descriptive study surveyed 143 primary-care physicians in Oregon with regard to their current use of ambulatory blood pressure monitoring.

RESULTS:

Nineteen percent of the physicians reported that they would use ambulatory blood pressure monitoring to confirm an office-based hypertension diagnosis, although over half had never ordered it. The most frequent indication for ordering ambulatory blood pressure monitoring was to investigate suspected white-coat hypertension (37.3%). In addition, many of the practices did not own an ambulatory blood pressure monitoring device (79.7%) and, therefore, had to refer patients to other clinics or departments for testing.

CONCLUSION:

Many primary-care physicians will need to change their current clinical practice to align with the shift toward a confirmation process for office-based hypertension diagnoses to improve population health.

PMID:
26683382
DOI:
10.1097/MBP.0000000000000166
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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