The Pressures of Home

Are home blood pressure readings accurate?

(HealthDayNews) -- Got high blood pressure? Don't be surprised if your doctor starts telling you to check it yourself.

A study from the American Journal of Hypertension confirms that many of the newest home blood-pressure machines provide readings that are as accurate -- or even more so -- than those taken in a doctor's office.

In the study, a group of men and women monitored their pressures with traditional doctor's tools -- stethoscope and sphygmomanometer -- for two weeks. Then they used a home monitor for two more weeks. The home monitor turned out to be just as accurate and was much simpler to use.

Home readings also help show whether medication and lifestyle changes are lowering blood pressure -- and seeing results helps motivate people to stick with their programs.

Which home monitor should you use? The traditional upper-arm style is favored, rather than the wrist or finger models, even though it can be a little more cumbersome.

Consumer News