Sept. 17 (UPI) -- At-home blood pressure monitors provide benefit to black patients more than white patients, a new study says.
The screenings are less expensive, more accurate and easier to obtain than those taken at the doctor's office, according to research published Tuesday in Circulation.
Researchers in the new study say they are more accurate because people are often more relaxed at home, and in the case of African Americans, who are at greater risk for disability and death caused by hypertension, they could be especially beneficial.
"Our study shows that African American men and women who are taking medications to control their hypertension should monitor their blood pressure at home on a regular basis," Wanpen Vongpatanasin, a researcher at UT Southwestern and study author, said in a news release. "These home-taken readings are a more accurate measure of how healthy the heart is than clinic readings when compared to other ethnic groups."
The analysis included nearly 1,300 black and more than 900 white patients, between ages 30 and 64, who had participated in the Dallas Heart Study who underwent standardized clinic and out-of-office blood pressure monitoring.
Past research has shown black and white people have a disparity in cardiovascular risks. One study said income and education variations contribute to a 65 percent difference in cardiac death risk between the two groups
High blood pressure has been shown to contribute greatly to heart and kidney failure, and stroke, according to the American Heart Association.
"The debate among cardiologists has been whether measuring blood pressure in the clinic can lead to under-treatment or over-treatment of hypertension," Vongpatanasin said. "We wanted to see if measuring blood pressure at home would give us a more accurate picture of heart health."