Intended for healthcare professionals


Use of ambulatory blood pressure monitoring

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 07 October 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:894

Elegant new test needs clinical indication

  1. A M Rouse (, senior lecturer
  1. Department of Public Health and Epidemiology, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT
  2. Blood Pressure Unit, Beaumont Hospital, PO Box 1297, Dublin 9

    EDITOR—O'Brien et al in their paper state that monitoring ambulatory blood pressure may be useful for diagnosing white coat hypertension, a diagnosis that should be considered before drugs are prescribed.1 But they do not give criteria that can be used to identify which patients with raised blood pressure should be selected for monitoring. This, perhaps, is not surprising since O'Brien et al admit that white coat hypertension has no clinical characteristics to help in diagnosis. We must therefore presume that they believe that all newly diagnosed patients with hypertension would benefit from ambulatory monitoring of blood pressure.

    O'Brien et al make no claims that ambulatory monitoring is likely to improve the process of care when they state that …

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