If your blood pressure is higher than it should be, chances are good that a doctor will put you on medicine to remedy the situation.
But the job of controlling your hypertension does not end when you pop 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 who have a hypertension-related health condition monitor their blood pressure. That’s according to research from the University of Michigan that was recently published in JAMA Network Open, a journal of the American Medical Association.
The findings from a poll of more than 1,200 adults also found that just 62% of respondents say their health care provider recommended at-home checks. Those who did receive such encouragement were 3½ times more likely to follow through and monitor their blood pressure.
If doctors and patients work together to make sure the latter were regularly monitoring their blood pressure at home, it might help patients extend their lives while maintaining heart and brain health, researchers say.
They note that past research has supported the notion that regularly monitoring blood pressure at home helps to keep hypertension at bay, reducing the risk of stroke, heart attack, and cognitive impairment and dementia.
Among the survey respondents, 55% say they own a blood pressure monitor. However, some admitted they never use it, and among the rest, there was a lot of variation in how often they used their monitor.
Just half of the respondents who monitor their blood pressure at home said they share the readings with their health provider.
For more on preventing hypertension, check out “Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?“