Home blood pressure monitoring to diagnose hypertension in primary care

How long you should carry out home blood pressure monitoring (HBPM) to aid a diagnosis of hypertension?

Current NICE guidance states:

When using HBPM to confirm a diagnosis of hypertension, ensure that:

  • for each blood pressure recording, two consecutive measurements are taken, at least 1 minute apart and with the person seated and
  • blood pressure is recorded twice daily, ideally in the morning and evening and
  • blood pressure recording continues for at least 4 days, ideally for 7 days.

Discard the measurements taken on the first day and use the average value of all the remaining measurements to confirm a diagnosis of hypertension.

The length of time to monitor for “at least 4 days, ideally for 7 days” suggests that their is no clear consensus.

My colleague David Nunan has written a blog on some of the recent work he and other colleagues have been doing which suggests 5 days of HBPM may be enough. Have a read for yourself here.

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