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Not much need for ambulatory blood pressure monitoring

Bruce C Neal and Les Irwig
Med J Aust 2011; 195 (11): 634-635. || doi: 10.5694/mja11.11304
Published online: 12 December 2011

Do you need to “know your numbers”?

“Know your numbers” was the public catchcry on World Hypertension Day 2011, and doctors were once again admonished to measure their patients’ blood pressure levels. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in the United Kingdom has gone one step further and now recommends that all patients in whom hypertension is suspected be offered ambulatory blood pressure monitoring to confirm the diagnosis.1 A recent report suggested this approach is cost-effective,2 although other research findings suggest that the precise measurement of blood pressure may not be very important when selecting whom to treat.3-4 Indeed, a recent report suggested that age alone might be a sufficient basis for decision making.5 What then is the role of ambulatory blood pressure monitoring in clinical practice?

  • Bruce C Neal1
  • Les Irwig2

  • 1 The George Institute for Global Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW.
  • 2 Screening and Test Evaluation Program, Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW.


Competing interests:

Bruce Neal receives current support or has received support within the past 5 years from a number of pharmaceutical companies marketing blood pressure lowering drugs but has no support from device manufacturers.

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