Having a patient sit for 30 minutes in a quiet room while undergoing automated serial BP measurements is a valid, useful, office-based alternative to more laborious 24-hour BP monitoring, assures an investigative team.

Data were analyzed from 84 men and women (mean age: 57 years) who had been referred to a primary-care diagnostic center for 24-hour ambulatory BP monitoring (ABPM). The patients’ BP was measured using the same validated ABPM device for both ABPM and office BP measurement (OBPM). After automatically measuring BP every five minutes with the patient sitting alone in a quiet room, the researchers compared the mean 30-minute OBPM with mean daytime ABPM.

Systolic and diastolic BPs differed from 0 to 2 mm Hg between mean 30-minute OBPM and daytime ABPM, respectively. The two methods of measurement classified normotension, white-coat hypertension, masked hypertension, and sustained hypertension equally.

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“The 30-minute OBPM appears to agree well with daytime ABPM and has the potential to detect white-coat and masked hypertension,” investigators concluded (Ann Fam Med. 2011;9:128-135). “This finding makes 30-minute OBPM a promising new method to determine BP during diagnosis and follow-up of patients with elevated BP.”