How to Find the Best Blood Pressure Monitor

Lisa Nelson, RD, LN Health Pro
  • How to Find the Best Blood Pressure Monitor

     

    Blood pressure should be checked every two years after the age of 21, annual checks after age 50, more frequent checks if you have risk factors.  It is easiest to treat high blood pressure if you catch the gradual increase early on.  If you have a family history of heart disease or stroke, all the more reason to pay attention.

     

    Home Monitoring Blood Pressure

     

    If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, it is wise to monitor your blood pressure at home, as well as your doctor’s office.  Combining your readings with your doctor’s will provide a better measure of your high blood pressure and treatment to control it.

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    Also, home monitoring will rule out if you suffer from “white coat hypertension”.  About 30% of individuals diagnosed with hypertension, have “white coat hypertension”.  In other words, their blood pressure is elevated due to increased anxiety when visiting the doctor.  The only way to know the effects on your blood pressure is to monitor it regularly.  For the most accurate results, monitor your blood pressure at the same time every day.

     

    DO NOT substitute home monitoring in place of regular MD checkups.  Your MD appointments are very important, especially if your high blood pressure is being treated with medication.

     

    There are many options for home blood pressure monitoring - Mercury sphygmomanometer (standard blood pressure cuff and stethoscope), aneroid equipment, automatic equipment, manual inflation monitors, automatic inflation monitors, and wrist monitors.  Work with your MD to decide which method is best for you.

     

    Conrad Yu works with a website called FindTheBest. This site is free to use and intended to provide unbiased and data-driven comparison of blood pressure monitors. Conrad has answers a few questioned about the site below.

     

    Q: How do you find the right blood pressure monitor?

     

    A: There seem to be a million blood pressure monitor models out there, so before you start with individual models, it’s important to look at the different types of blood pressure monitors.  Take cuff type for example – do you want it to wrap around your wrist or your upper arm? No matter which one, make sure you fit the cuff size. Another important factor is inflation type.   Although most models are automatic there are still some manual types, and maybe you prefer that.

     

    Q:  Is there a way to see each model’s data points?


    A: FindTheBest’s blood pressure monitors comparison provides all the data for each model based on the manufacturer’s information and more. It includes points like cuff size, MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price), warranty, features, and other important factors.  Each model is ranked on the comparison by its Smart Rating.

     

    Q: What is the Smart Rating?


    A: The Smart Rating is FindTheBest’s way of ranking each model based on a number of factors.  For blood glucose monitors, it takes into account AAMI (Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation) Approval, BHS (British Hypertension Society) Systolic Rating and Diastolic Rating, ESH (European Society of Hypertension) Approval, and whether or not it is Dabl Recommended.

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    Q: How does FindTheBest gather its information?

     

    A: FindTheBest gets its data primarily from three sources: manufacturers, public databases, and expert sources.  This is to guarantee a data-driven way to review a product instead of arbitrary ratings.

     

    Q: Are there other comparisons?

     

    A: Yes.  FindTheBest currently offers over 900 comparisons on a variety of products and services, from comparing backpacks to car insurance.  It uses the same method of reviewing for all categories – unbiased and data-driven comparisons.

     

    So, FindTheBest may be a tool you can use to select a blood pressure monitor that will work best for you.

     

    Continue to take steps to lower your blood pressure level for the long term. You can access the free ecourse “7 Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure” at http://lowerbloodpressurewithlisa.com.

Published On: April 25, 2013