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Wearable Monitor Helps Identify Patients with High Blood Pressure

CardioSmart News

A 24–hour home blood pressure monitor helps better identify patients at risk for hypertension, according to a study of black adults in Jackson, MS.

Published in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension, this study looked at “masked” hypertension, which occurs when patients have normal blood pressure readings in the doctor’s office but high blood pressure at home. Masked hypertension increases risk for high blood pressure and heart disease, and is especially common among blacks.

A total of 317 people participated in the study, all of whom had their blood pressure checked in the office and at home at the start of the study. Although none of the participants had high blood pressure based on their office visit, home blood pressure readings found that 45% of participants had some form of masked hypertension.

After following participants for roughly eight years, nearly 60% of all participants were diagnosed with high blood pressure. After analysis, researchers found that participants with masked hypertension were more than twice as likely to develop high blood pressure as those without normal home blood pressure readings.

Findings confirm that masked hypertension is, in fact, very common among black adults. Nearly half of study participants had masked hypertension, which is difficult to diagnose without home blood pressure monitoring. Perhaps most concerning, findings suggest that masked hypertension more than doubles risk for developing high blood pressure.

Therefore, authors encourage increased use of home blood pressure monitoring, particularly in blacks. It’s clear that single blood pressure readings don’t provide a complete picture of a patient’s blood pressure, especially over the course of a day. Through wearable monitors, doctors can better identify patients with masked hypertension and provide earlier treatment to help improve outcomes.

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