Tracking your own blood pressure at home can help you manage hypertension, according to a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Researchers from Tufts Medical Center in Boston compared over 50 studies on the effectiveness of home blood pressure screenings and found that patients who engaged in regular self-monitoring exhibited lower rates of high blood pressure.
“For adults with hypertension who are willing and able to monitor their blood pressure at home in conjunction with their health care center, self-monitored blood pressure can be a useful tool to lower blood pressure, and possibly lower the risk of cardiovascular events, at least for the short term,” said Dr. Ethan Balk, lead researcher on the study, in the report.
Proper self-monitoring includes keeping a record of your readings and regularly reporting them to a physician, who will then determine if you need to take medications or make lifestyle changes. The results of this study do not apply to individuals who self-monitor, but do not consult with a medical professional.
At-home blood pressure monitoring devices are inexpensive and can be found at most drugstores. The American Heart Association recommends automatic, cuff-style, upper-arm monitors for home use.
Hypertension can increase your risk for blood clots, which can lead to a heart attack, aneurysm or stroke. In addition to preventing these illnesses, keeping your blood pressure under control may qualify you for lower life insurance rates. Check out our easy-to-use online quoting system to survey term life insurance policies that best suit your needs.