The diagnosis and management of hypertension, a common cardiovascular risk factor among the general population, have been based primarily on the measurement of blood pressure (BP) in the office. BP may differ considerably when measured in the office and when measured outside of the office setting, and higher out-of-office BP is associated with increased cardiovascular risk independent of office BP. Self-measured BP monitoring, the measurement of BP by an individual outside of the office at home, is a validated approach for out-of-office BP measurement. Several national and international hypertension guidelines endorse self-measured BP monitoring. Indications include the diagnosis of white-coat hypertension and masked hypertension and the identification of white-coat effect and masked uncontrolled hypertension. Other indications include confirming the diagnosis of resistant hypertension and detecting morning hypertension. Validated self-measured BP monitoring devices that use the oscillometric method are preferred, and a standardized BP measurement and monitoring protocol should be followed. Evidence from meta-analyses of randomized trials indicates that self-measured BP monitoring is associated with a reduction in BP and improved BP control, and the benefits of self-measured BP monitoring are greatest when done along with cointerventions. The addition of self-measured BP monitoring to office BP monitoring is cost-effective compared with office BP monitoring alone or usual care among individuals with high office BP. The use of self-measured BP monitoring is commonly reported by both individuals and providers. Therefore, self-measured BP monitoring has high potential for improving the diagnosis and management of hypertension in the United States. Randomized controlled trials examining the impact of self-measured BP monitoring on cardiovascular outcomes are needed. To adequately address barriers to the implementation of self-measured BP monitoring, financial investment is needed in the following areas: improving education and training of individuals and providers, building health information technology capacity, incorporating self-measured BP readings into clinical performance measures, supporting cointerventions, and enhancing reimbursement.
Keywords: AHA Scientific Statements; blood pressure; cardiovascular disease; hypertension; prevention and control.