Study shows accuracy of central blood pressure as opposed to cuff pressure measurement.

When most people imagine measuring blood pressure, it’s the conventional BP cuff that comes to mind. However, results of a new clinical trial suggest that this is not the only way to take blood pressure readings and in fact, might not be the best way.

The study, which was published in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension, shows the benefits of using central blood pressure measurements as opposed to cuff blood pressure measurements to manage the health of patients with hypertension.

The SphygmoCor® system, developed by AtCor Medical, measures central aortic blood pressure and arterial stiffness, noninvasively. For the study, researchers examined 286 patients being treated for hypertension over a period of 12 months. While all patients received best-practice care, only 144 were treated according to readings gathered from central blood pressure measurements.

The most important discovery was that treatment decisions based on central blood pressure resulted in patients needing much less medication to achieve healthy blood pressure levels. In fact, sixteen percent of the participants came off medication altogether. According to lead study author, Associate Professor James Sharman, the importance of these findings lies in the negative side effects of anti-hypertensive drugs and their impact on patients’ quality of life. Lower doses mean less adverse effects. He added that the results “provide the framework for a better way to care for people with high blood pressure.”

According to Sharman, central blood pressure is considered to be a more accurate indicator of the pressure experienced by the heart and other vital organs. The study concluded that “guidance of hypertension management with central blood pressure results in a significantly different therapeutic pathway than conventional cuff blood pressure, with less use of medication to achieve blood pressure control and no adverse effects on left ventricular mass, aortic stiffness, or quality of life.”

AtCor Medical chief executive officer, Duncan Ross, said in a statement that the study “points towards the medical and economic value of using central blood pressure to guide management of hypertensive patients. The results have worldwide significance and clearly demonstrate the benefits of using central blood pressure in clinical care.”

The study authors believe that this is the first randomized trial specifically designed to test the effectiveness of using central blood pressure monitoring to guide therapy in patients with hypertension. While taking regular and accurate readings is an essential part of blood pressure control, patients trying to lower their mediation levels should consider using RESPeRATE. A completely natural device, RESPeRATE has been clinically proven to effectively lower blood pressure.

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