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High Blood Pressure Monitors - Home or Office

Blood pressure monitors allow self-monitoring for hypertension. These tracking devices are easy to use and portable. They are useful at home, work, or on the go. Hypertension or high blood pressure (BP) is a major cause of early deaths worldwide. It affects nearly 25% of the adult population and is a "silent killer." Most people with hypertension are not aware of the disease because it most often has no symptoms or warning signs.1 Measuring BP is an important procedure to practice regularly before and after diagnosis. BP detection can save your life!

CDC Hypertension Infographic

 

 

 

 

Indications for BP Surveilance

  • Diagnosed hypertension
  • Diagnosed prehypertension
  • An elderly person in whom both BP variability and the “white-coat effect” during doctor visits is manifest
  • Diagnosed diabetes
  • Pregnant women, children, and patients with kidney disease
  • Assessing suitability for strenuous sports
  • Diagnosed cardiovascular risk

A home BP assessment allows patients to check their BP frequently. Obtaining a history of BP measurements over a specified period can provide your doctor with a better estimate of your true BP level. The best way to determine if you have high BP is to measure it several times a day for several months. Medical studies have shown that home measurements of BP are more reliable than in-office measurements. One study made the following observation:

The advantages of electronic checking have begun to be appreciated by epidemiologists, who have always been greatly concerned about the accuracy of clinical BP measurement and have paid much attention to the problems of observer error, digit preference, and the other causes of inaccuracy described. It has been argued that the ease of use of the electronic devices and the relative insensitivity to who is actually taking the reading can outweigh any inherent inaccuracy compared with the traditional sphygmomanometer method.1

Advantages of Home BP Monitoring

  • Improved compliance with doctor-recommended therapy
  • Improved BP control by the patient
  • Improved patient coping with a hypertension diagnosis
  • Cheaper than ambulatory BP assessments
  • Easier than ambulatory BP analysis
  • More frequent measurements at home provide more accurate detection than a single in-office measurement2

Hypertension Prevention and Self-Interventions

  • Weight loss
  • Heart-healthy diet
    • Sodium reduction (<1500 mg/d)
    • Potassium supplementation ( 3500-5000 mg/d)
  • Increased physical activity (aerobic, dynamic resistance, isometric resistance)
  • Moderation in alcohol intake (no more than two drinks for men and one for women per day)

 

Types of Monitors

BP Cuff Sizing Chart

 

There are several different types of BP diagnostic tools, but there are two main types that are in heavy use: manual and digital.

Manual Devices

Manual or aneroid sphygmomanometer has three parts—gauge, inflatable cuff, and a stethoscope. The cuff inflates around the upper arm to cut off blood flow to the lower arm. While observing the gauge and slowly letting the air out of the cuff, note at what point on the gauge the blood flow begins to return to the lower arm by listening with the stethoscope (systolic pressure). Continue listening and note on the gauge when the blood flows smoothly (diastolic pressure).

Advantages

  • Used by doctors and clinics
  • Considered accurate

Disadvantages

  • Not useful for those with impaired hearing to listen to your heartbeat through the stethoscope.
  • Not usable by patients with arthritis in their hands or with loss of dexterity to operate the inflatable cuff.
  • Not useful by patients with poor vision
  • Subject to human errors

Digital Devices

There are two types of digital monitors--semi-automatic and fully-automatic. The less expensive semi-automatic versions use a manually inflatable cuff while the more expensive fully-automatic devices employ an automatic-cuff that inflates at the press of a button. The systolic and diastolic readings display on a screen.

Many medical facilities are switching over to digital because of their ease of use and accuracy. For home use, digital measurements dominate.

Advantages

  • Portable and compact
  • Easy operation
  • Minimizes the risk of human errors
  • Provides accurate readings

Disadvantages

  • Expensive
  • Fragile
  • Not always 100% efficient
  • Should be checked annually for accuracy
  • Must have correct cuff size for accurate readings

Additional Features

  • Data storage
  • Data transmission
  • Printout
  • Irregular heartbeat detection

Accuracy of BP Devices

Manual devices provide accurate measurements for BP. The automatic device also provide accurate readings when used with the correct size cuffs. In-home assessment offers accurate BP readings and in many cases, are more accurate than office measurements by professional staff3.

 

How to Select the Best Blood Pressure Monitor FOR SALE

There are lots of home blood pressure monitors on sale. Many cost less than $100. These assessment devices do not require a prescription to purchase. Below is a breakout of the different types of BP devices and where they fit on a product selection continuum.

BP Device Product Selection Continuum

 

BP Cuffs

The size of the BP cuffs are essential. Cuffs that are too small can provide false high BP readings. Cuffs that are too large may falsely provide low BP results. The correct cuff size depends on arm circumference.

BP Cuff Sizing Chart

 

 

 

FAQ’s

What is the function of a blood pressure checker?

BP results from your heart pumping blood throughout your body. As the heart pumps out, the pressure rises. As your heart muscles relax, the pressures lowers. The high-pressure cycle is the systolic measurement, and the low pressure is the diastolic measurement.

What is high blood pressure vs. hypertension?

High BP and hypertension are the same things. It means that the patient’s systolic pressure is above 140 and/or diastolic pressure is above 90. Hypertension is the medical term for high BP.

What blood pressure indicates hypertension?

A BP measurement above 140/90 indicates hypertension. The chart below displays BP measurements and their corresponding medical diagnosis.

Hypertension Chart

Which is worst, hypotension (low BP) or hypertension (high BP)?

According to the American Heart Association, doctors consider low BP to be dangerous if it causes symptoms. These symptoms include dizziness, fainting, dehydration, or shallow breathing. High BP, however, is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke. The American Heart Association indicates that 33% of adults have hypertension, contributing to nearly 7% of deaths annually.4

Which states have the highest and lowest hypertension rates?

West Virginia has the highest hypertension rate at 43.5%, and Utah has the lowest rate at 24.5%.5

 

Map of United States with the Highest and Lowest Hypertension Rates

Hypertension Rates

 

What is the best high BP testing device for the home?

Omron is by far the market leader in digital BP monitors followed by Lifesource. Currently, the Omron 10 Series monitors are the best selling BP monitors. The Omron 7 Series Wrist BP Monitors are also popular.

 

Ranking the Top Ten BP Monitors

  1. Omron 10 Series
  2. LifeSource UA 767 - 30 readings data storage, averages readings, detects irregular heartbeat, auto inflates, 3 cuff sizes
  3. Omron 7 Series
  4. Omron BP786N - wireless bluetooth, cuff wrap indicator, dual sensor calibration check, expandable cuff, two user mode, auto 3-consecutive readings, detects irregular hearbeat, 200 readings data storage
  5. Omron BP652 - wrist monitor, 2-user mode, Advanced Averaging, 200 readings data storage with time stamp
  6. Omron BP785N
  7. Omron Evolv BP7000
  8. ReliOn BP-200
  9. Welch Allyn ProBP 2400
  10. A&D Medical UA767F
  11.   

 

 

Footnotes

 

 

 

Medical Studies