Like the blood pressure cuff used by your doctor, ambulatory blood pressure monitoring reads your blood pressure at regular intervals during the day. This helps provide more accurate readings and aids in the diagnostic process.
Your blood pressure holds a wealth of information regarding your cardiovascular health, however, sometimes the reading can be inaccurate in an office. Referred to as “white coat hypertension,” people’s blood pressure has been known to spike due to feelings of stress during a medical visit. Instead, you can have your blood pressure monitored at home 24-hours a day with an ambulatory blood pressure monitor.
This device looks very similar to the cuff used by your cardiologist and includes a recording device that attaches to your belt. Typically, an ABPM will take a reading every 15 to 30 minutes throughout the day, measuring your blood pressure during a variety of daily activities. It continues to function while you sleep, recording valuable information about any abnormal changes in your blood pressure during the night.
Most patients only use an ABPM for 24 hours in order to gather enough data for their cardiologist, and this series of readings can help to uncover if you have hypertension or another cardiovascular issue. It can assist in determining the efficacy of certain medications or treatment plans as well, making it a valuable service.