More older adults should check blood

More older adults should check blood

Only 48% of people ages 50 to 80 who take blood pressure medications or have a health condition affected by hypertension regularly check their blood pressure at home or elsewhere, a new study finds.

A slightly higher number – but still just 62% – say a health care provider encouraged them to have such checkups. Survey respondents whose health care providers recommended monitoring their blood pressure at home were three and a half times more likely to do so than those who could not remember receiving such a recommendation.

The findings underscore the importance of investigating why at-risk patients don’t monitor their blood pressure and why health care providers don’t recommend them to monitor — as well as finding ways to get more people with these health conditions to check their blood regularly under pressure. This could play an important role in helping patients live longer and maintain heart and brain health, the study authors say.


Past research has shown that regular home checkups can help with blood pressure control, and better control can lead to a reduced risk of death; of cardiovascular events, including strokes and heart attacks; and of cognitive impairment and dementia.

The findings are published in JAMA Network Open by a team from Michigan Medicine, the University of Michigan academic medical center. The data comes from the National Poll on Healthy Aging and builds on a report released last year.

The poll, based at the UM Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation and supported by Michigan Medicine and AARP, asked adults ages 50 to 80 about their chronic health conditions, blood pressure monitoring outside of clinic settings, and interactions with healthcare providers about blood pressure. Study authors Mellanie V. Springer, MD, MS, of the Michigan Medicine Department of Neurology, and Deborah Levine, MD, MPH, of the Department of Internal Medicine, worked with the NPHA team to develop the survey questions and share the findings. analyze.

The data in the new article comes from the 1,247 respondents who said they were either taking a drug to control their blood pressure or had a chronic health condition requiring blood pressure monitoring, specifically a history of stroke, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, diabetes, chronic kidney disease or hypertension.

Of them, 55% said they have a blood pressure monitor, although some said they never use it. Among those who do use it, there was wide variation in how often they checked their blood pressure — and only about half said they share their readings with a health care provider. But those who have a monitor were more than 10 times more likely to monitor their blood pressure outside of healthcare than those who didn’t.

The authors note that blood pressure monitoring is associated with lower blood pressure and is cost-effective. They say the results suggest that protocols should be developed to educate patients about the importance of self-monitoring and sharing measurements with clinicians.

Prevalence and frequency of self-measured blood pressure measurement in US adults aged 50-80 years JAMA Netw Open. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.31772,

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