Home BP Monitoring in Older Adults Falls Short of Recommendations

Just over 51% of older hypertensive adults regularly check their own blood pressure, compared with 48% of those with blood pressure–related health conditions (BPHCs), based on a 2021 survey of individuals aged 50-80 years.

“Guidelines recommend that patients use self-measured blood pressure monitoring (SBPM) outside the clinic to diagnose and manage hypertension,” but just 61% of respondents with a BPHC and 68% of those with hypertension said that they had received such a recommendation from a physician, nurse, or other health care professional, Melanie V. Springer, MD, and associates said in JAMA Network Open.

The prevalence of regular monitoring among those with hypertension, 51.2%, does, however, compare favorably with an earlier study showing that 43% of adults aged 18 and older regularly monitored their BP in 2005 and 2008, “which is perhaps associated with our sample’s older age,” said Springer and associates of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

The current study, they noted, is the first to report “SBPM prevalence in adults ages 50 to 80 years with hypertension or BPHCs, who have a higher risk of adverse outcomes from uncontrolled BP than younger adults.” The analysis is based on data from the National Poll on Healthy Aging, conducted by the University of Michigan in January 2021 and completed by 2,023 individuals.

The frequency of home monitoring varied among adults with BPHCs, as just under 15% reported daily checks and the largest proportion, about 28%, used their device one to three times per month. The results of home monitoring were shared with health care professionals by 50.2% of respondents with a BPHC and by 51.5% of those with hypertension, they said in the research letter.

Home monitoring’s less-than-universal recommendation by providers and use by patients “suggest that protocols should be developed to educate patients about the importance of SBPM and sharing readings with clinicians and the frequency that SBPM should be performed,” Springer and associates wrote.

The study was funded by AARP, Michigan Medicine, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. One investigator has received consulting fees or honoraria from SeeChange Health, HealthMine, the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, AbilTo, Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute, American Diabetes Association, Donaghue Foundation, and Luxembourg National Research Fund.

This article originally appeared on MDedge.com, part of the Medscape Professional Network.

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