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Home-based BP monitors can be inaccurate: Docs

Dr Behram Pardiwala
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Dr Behram Pardiwala

Rohit Shishodia
Doctors have stressed that people should be careful about blood pressure readings provided by home-based BP monitors. They say that they find discrepencies between readings of BP at patients’ homes and in their clinics. Wrong readings of BP can influence treatment of this silent killer disease which leads to complications.

Citing study results published in the American Journal of Hypertension, in 2017, which suggest that 70% at-home blood pressure monitors are wrong and that inaccuracy could have serious health consequences, the doctors advised that people should regularly visit the doctor to get accurate readings, and not solely rely on at-home blood pressure monitor.

On the occasion of World Hypertension Day, Dr Behram Pardiwala, Internal Medicine expert from the Wockhardt hospital, Mumbai Central, said that about 10 % of the people who visit his clinic complain about inaccurate readings after checking the blood pressure at home. People may notice fluctuation in their readings and this indicates that the readings are inaccurate.

Dr Pardiwala recommended that people should use instruments validated by the hypertension society of British and the World Health Organization.

He further added that people should check-up blood pressure with their doctors when there are discrepancies between at-home and clinic readings. Furthermore, They must also ask their doctors to teach them how to tie the machine, about the right position of the arm and the duration.

“One should avoid drinking a caffeinated beverage or smoking during the 30 minutes before monitoring one's blood pressure. People with hypertension need to be extra careful while monitoring their blood pressure at home as hypertension is a ‘silent killer’. Before stopping your BP medication, check with your doctor as it can be dangerous for you,” explained Dr Pardiwala.

Dr Dipak Bhuktar, General Physician, SRV Mamata Hospital, Dombivali, pointed out that there are two ways of measuring blood pressure --while lying down in a supine position and while sitting.

Dr Bhuktar said that people should speak to the doctor before measuring the blood pressure at home, and while doing so, make sure that they tie the machine properly to get accurate results. Blood pressure also varies depending on the arm circumference and size of the cuff. Too tight cuff can give high blood pressure and bigger cuff would give falsely low readings.

Dr Bipeenchandra Bhamre, Cardio-Thoracic Surgeon, Sir H N Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre, Mumbai, said that systolic blood pressure higher than 140 and diastolic higher than 90, is called as hypertension.

Dr Bhamre advised that to prevent hypertension, people should not forget to perform exercises and should opt for relaxation techniques like meditation and yoga which can help them de-stress. They must take the blood pressure medications on time.


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