Home Blood Pressure Monitoring
Information for patients and their families
Why is it important to check your blood pressure?
To check the effects of new or current medicines on BP control To see if “white-coat” high blood pressure exists—meaning it is high in the
office but may not be high at home
How do I purchase the right blood pressure monitoring device?
Buy a blood pressure monitor that has been tested to be accurate. An up-todate list of validated monitors is available on the Dabl Educational Web site http://www.dableducational.org and the British Hypertension Society Web site http://www.bhsoc.org/default.stm Some brand names that make accurate monitors are: A&D, Artsana, Health & Life, Microlife, Omron. Average cost for a reliable monitor is $30-$120 depending on the features. Most durable medical equipment supply stores, Costco, Sams and internet sites such as, amazon.com, contain reputable monitors Make sure the cuff size is the right one for your arm size. Please do not purchase a wrist style cuff. BP cuffs come in three different sizes. Measure your bicep circumference in inches and use the list below to see what size cuff is needed to accurately measure your BP Small: 7-9 in. Regular (standard): 9-13 in. Large: 13-17 in.
Measure Blood Pressure at Home
You and your health care provider will discuss your blood pressure goals.
Goals are individualized for each patient. The most important variable in your blood pressure is the top value or the systolic reading.
Often times patient become worried if their bottom value or diastolic reading is low…..how “low” is low? This is often a question asked by many patients. There is not an answer to this question because it requires a full evaluation of the patient, their clinical presentation and their medical history.
Instructions for home blood pressure monitoring
Sit in a chair, don’t cross your legs and support your arm on a flat surface with the upper arm at heart level
Do not smoke, have caffeine (coffee or tea) or exercise 30 minutes before
Measure your blood pressure at the same time each day: choose the best time, one in the morning and one in the afternoon/evening
Document time and readings and make a note in your log about any unusual situations (eg, you forgot your medications, you were ill or you had increased stress)
If you have any questions about your blood pressure readings, or you are experiencing any symptoms related to high or low blood pressure
readings obtained at home, call our office to make an appointment or to discuss your concerns with your cardiologist.