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Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring advice ‘excessive’

By Lilian Anekwe

A leading GP cardiovascular expert has backed moves for patients to measure their blood pressures at home, but warned to insist on ambulatory blood pressure monitoring for everyone would be 'excessive' and even 'distracting'.

Dr Kathryn Griffith, president of the Primary Care Cardiovascular Society and a GPSI in cardiology in York, said there was a danger recent draft NICE guidelines on hypertension could suck care into hospitals.

She suggested use of cheaper home monitoring devices as one way of preventing misdiagnosis of patients with white-coat hypertension without implementing guidelines on ABPM in full.

The institute's draft guidance, published in February, recommended GPs offer all patients with two consecutive readings of 140/90mmHg or higher 24-hour ABPM to confirm diagnosis.

Dr Griffith said: 'I agree we should not unnecessarily treat people for hypertension but I think it is excessive to monitor blood pressure over 24 hours in people who are at high risk related to other risk factors. We should get on and reduce their risk.'

Kathryn_Griffith Ten top tips on ambulatory blood pressure monitoring

With NICE set to change its hypertension diagnostic guidelines, cardiology GPSI Dr Chris Arden offers his tips on using ABPM effectively.

Read our top ten tips on ambulatory blood pressure monitoring here.