Ambulatory BP Monitors May Become New Standard
(HealthDay News) — Patients suspected of having hypertension may soon be asked to wear an ambulatory blood pressure monitor to confirm the diagnosis, according to a draft recommendation issued by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. The recommendation is based on a review published online Dec. 23 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Margaret Piper, Ph.D., M.P.H., a senior investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore., and colleagues found that data gathered by wearing a ambulatory blood pressure monitor throughout a person's daily routine were up to 40 percent better at predicting future heart attacks, strokes, and heart disease than individual blood pressure checks done in a doctor's office.
"We found that the ambulatory blood pressure monitoring did a better job of predicting future events, and it's more accurate at predicting the population of patients who would benefit from treatment," Piper told HealthDay.
If the Task Force recommendation becomes final, health insurers would be required to pay for ambulatory blood pressure testing. Under the Affordable Care Act, preventive procedures approved by the Task Force must be covered. The public can comment on the draft recommendation between now and Jan. 26.