Medical Q&As

Monitoring blood pressure

I have bought a wrist monitor for checking blood pressure. Can you advise me on the accuracy of these monitors and how results relate to readings taken by the doctor? I have moderate blood pressure and have undertaken an exercise programme to help reduce it and would like to monitor my progress.

Many doctors have also changed to using various types of electronic monitors for checking blood pressure so I have absolutely no prejudice against the use of such devices. They are accurate and reliable and the records so obtained could be a useful source of information for your doctor in helping to advise you further. It is quite possible that the readings you obtain are slightly lower than the readings obtained by your doctor because you are less likely to be anxious when measuring the pressure in the comfort of your own home. Be careful not to become too obsessional about taking readings. Random readings taken a couple of times per week are probably all that is required. I have known people to take regular readings several times each day, which is quite unnecessary.