How reliable are self-measured blood pressures taken at home?
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Self-measured blood pressures (SMBP) can be precise and accurate and, thus, reliably be used as an adjunct to office blood pressure measurements in selected clinical situations (strength of recommendation [SOR]: B, extrapolation and limited trials). Clinicians using SMBP need to be aware of the difference in normal reference ranges, with pressures greater than 135/85 mm Hg considered hypertensive. Whether hypertensive treatment should be based primarily on SMBP is unclear, and currently undergoing study. Clinicians should recommend multiple daily measurements with a validated and standardized device, preferably equipped with memory or transmission capabilities, in order to avoid patient error in transcribing and reporting values. Wrist or finger devices cannot reliably be used (SOR: B, limited comparison studies).
Journal of Family Practice, 53(10) 2004: 832-834.