Experts from the University College London have urged medical doctors to scrap old methods of measuring blood pressure as thousands of hypertensive patients were being missed. They are therefore urging doctors to switch to a new technique whereby patients were sent home with portable devices which are worn for 24 hours. The portable devices or ambulatory blood pressure monitors (ABMPs) provides 50 per cent more accurate readings and could predict whether patients would die from heart disease. These are the findings of a new study, published in the ‘New England Journal of Medicine.’
The devices measure blood pressure at 20 to 30 minute intervals for a period of 24 hours when patients go about their daily routines. “For this reason they are far more accurate as many patients with high blood pressure have normal readings when sat in a chair,” reported the ‘mailonline’.
The researchers asserted that readings from the new wearable device have shown that this was far more effective than GPs taking a one-off reading with an inflatable cuff.The researchers found that almost a fifth of adults with normal blood pressure readings using the traditional method actually had high blood pressure. Such patients that were classified as having ‘masked’ high blood pressure – were ordinarily sent away without treatment. High blood pressure or hypertension is a condition in which pressure in the blood vessels is higher than it should be. Normal blood pressure is 120/80. However, new guidelines stated that blood pressure between 120/80 and 129/80 is elevated, and 130/80 is high.