UT Southwestern researchers have found added value for African Americans who use a blood pressure cuff at home, augmenting benefits of the at-home tool.
African Americans have a higher rate of disability and death related to high blood pressure than other groups, according to the American Heart Association. UTSW researchers analyzed the Dallas Heart Study and found that measuring blood pressure at home is more accurate, less expensive, and easier to obtain than in medical settings, where it often reads higher due to anxiety.
“Our study shows that African American men and women who are taking medications to control their hypertension should monitor their blood pressure at home on a regular basis. These home-taken readings are a more accurate measure of how healthy the heart is than clinic readings when compared to other ethnic groups,” said Dr. Wanpen Vongpatanasin, Professor of Internal Medicine, at UT Southwestern and Director of the Hypertension Section and its Hypertension Fellowship Program via release.
“The debate among cardiologists has been whether measuring blood pressure in the clinic can lead to under-treatment or over-treatment of hypertension,” said Dr. Vongpatanasin via release. “We wanted to see if measuring blood pressure at home would give us a more accurate picture of heart health.”
1,262 black and 927 white participants between the ages 30-64 years were analyzed in the study, and at-home measurements were more likely to predict dangerous thickening of the left heart chamber. The study was one of the few to look at the at-home approach for African Americans, and was published in the journal Hypertension.