Home may be best place to measure blood pressure

June 21, 2011 1:49:22 PM PDT
Getting your blood pressure checked just once at the doctor's office could be sending the wrong signal about your health.

Blood pressure often spikes at doctor appointments, a condition known as "white coat" hypertension. Now, new research suggests that getting just one reading in an intimidating environment is not enough to judge if someone truly has hypertension.

A report in the Annals of Internal Medicine finds that for two-thirds of adults with verified high blood pressure a single blood pressure measurement was not reliable.

If doctors are taking just one or two readings some people may be over treated for hypertension.

Researchers say a more reliable method is to average several blood pressure measurement taken in the office or at home.