Seventy per cent of readings from home blood pressure monitors are unacceptably inaccurate, which could have serious implications for people relying upon them to make informed health decisions, a new study warns.
The findings are extremely relevant given millions of patients are asked to monitor their blood pressure through a device at home and report the results back to their doctor, researchers said.
"Monitoring for and treating hypertension can decrease the consequences of this disease. We need to make sure that home blood pressure readings are accurate," said Ringrose, who led the study.
"Compare the blood pressure machine measurement with a blood pressure measurement in clinic before exclusively relying upon home blood pressure readings," said Ringrose
Raj Padwal, a professor at University of Alberta, said that no one should have drugs started or changed based on one or two measurements taken at a single point in time unless the measurements are clearly elevated.
While the average difference between the home monitors and the gold standard measurements was acceptable, the majority of individual devices demonstrated clinically- relevant inaccuracy.
The team also found that readings were more inaccurate in men than in women. They believe there are many factors that could account for their findings
"Individual differences, such as the size, age and medical background of the person using the blood pressure monitor are also contributing factors," he said.
The study was published in the American Journal of Hypertension.