24-Hour Monitoring Best to Diagnose Hypertension

(MedPageToday) — Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring is the most cost-effective way to confirm a hypertension diagnosis before starting treatment, researchers found.

The cost-savings from avoiding misdiagnosis was greater with ambulatory monitoring than with further blood pressure measurements in the office or at home, Richard J. McManus, MSc, MBBS, of the University of Birmingham, England, and colleagues reported.

Ambulatory confirmation saved from $92 (£56) to $533 (£323) across groups in the modeling study released online in The Lancet.

Moreover, ambulatory monitoring slightly boosted quality-adjusted life years among patients older than 50.

“Ambulatory monitoring for most people before the start of antihypertensive treatment should be seriously considered,” McManus’ group argued in the paper.

In response, the British regulatory agency that helped fund the study is altering its guidelines to recommend ambulatory monitoring as a best practice.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) announced the change at a press briefing held in London the same day as the Lancet paper was published.


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