Features May 2015 Issue

Do You Need Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring?

If you experience “white coat hypertension,” 24-hour monitoring may help determine whether you have high blood pressure.

Unless you regularly check your blood pressure at home, your experience with blood-pressure monitoring is probably limited to doctor appointments or hospital stays. But if you’re one of the many people who seem to have high blood pressure only when visiting your physician (a condition known as “white coat hypertension”), you may be advised to undergo ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM). In fact, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) suggests that ABPM be the “reference standard for confirming” an office-based diagnosis. The USPSTF is a national volunteer panel of experts in preventive medicine and primary care who make recommendations based on peer-reviewed research.

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