If your blood pressure is higher than it should be, chances are a doctor will prescribe medication to remedy the situation.
But the work of controlling your high blood pressure doesn’t stop when you take a pill. Instead, you should monitor your blood pressure regularly at home.
Yet less than half of people — 48% — between the ages of 50 and 80 who take medication for high blood pressure or have a health condition related to high blood pressure monitor their blood pressure. That’s according to a University of Michigan study that was recently published in JAMA Network Open, a journal of the American Medical Association.
Results from a survey of more than 1,200 adults also revealed that only 62% of respondents say their healthcare provider recommended home check-ups. Those who received such encouragement were 3.5 times more likely to track and monitor their blood pressure.
If doctors and patients work together to ensure the latter regularly monitor their blood pressure at home, it could help patients extend their lives while maintaining heart and brain health, researchers say.
They note that previous research has supported the idea that regular home blood pressure monitoring helps keep hypertension at bay, reducing the risk of stroke, heart attack, cognitive impairment and dementia. .
Of the survey respondents, 55% say they own a blood pressure monitor. However, some admitted they never used it, and among the others there was a lot of variation in how often they used their monitor.
Only half of respondents who monitor their blood pressure at home said they shared the readings with their healthcare provider.
For more on preventing high blood pressure, see “Is this treatable condition causing your high blood pressure?” »