If you’re measuring your blood pressure at home, when can you be convinced you’ve gotten an accurate picture? Elizabeth Tracey reports


Home blood pressure measurements help confirm a diagnosis of high blood pressure, a federal task force states. Greg Prokopowicz, a blood pressure expert at Johns Hopkins, says a number of such measurements are needed for a couple of reasons.

Prokopowicz: It’s worth pointing out that to really measure blood pressure properly in the office, you’re supposed to have the patient sit down and relax for five minutes before you even check the blood pressure but very few clinics can actually implement that because the workflow is such that you just don’t have the time to do that, so we’re really not measuring blood pressure entirely correctly in most clinics. So that heightens the need to get additional data outside of the clinic. And that would imply maybe ten or twenty home readings.  :31

Prokopowicz says having a large number of blood pressure readings taken at different times of day helps develop the most accurate picture of whether someone really has high blood pressure and needs treatment. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.