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Impact of Home Blood Pressure Telemonitoring and Blood Pressure Control: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Studies.

Am J Hypertens. 2011 Jun 9. doi: 10.1038/ajh.2011.100. Omboni S, Guarda A. Italian Institute of Telemedicine, Varese, Italy.

Background: Home blood pressure telemonitoring figures among the possible solutions that could help improve blood pressure control of hypertensive patients. To summarize the effectiveness of home blood pressure telemonitoring on blood pressure control from randomized, controlled studies.

Methods: Electronic databases were searched for publications in English, reporting on randomized trials of home blood pressure telemonitoring vs. usual care. Outcome measures were office or ambulatory blood pressure changes, rate of blood pressure control, and number of antihypertensive drugs used by patients. A random effects model was applied.

Results: Twelve studies met inclusion criteria. A high level of heterogeneity was found among studies for all the variables explored. Office blood pressure was reduced significantly more in patients randomized to home telemonitoring (systolic: 5.64 (95% confidence interval: 7.92, 3.36) mm Hg; diastolic: 2.78 (3.93, 1.62) mm Hg; 11 comparisons, n = 4,389). The effect on ambulatory blood pressure was smaller than on office blood pressure (systolic: 2.28 (4.32, 0.24); diastolic: 1.38 (3.55, +0.79) mm Hg; 3 comparisons, n = 655). The relative risk of blood pressure normalization (<140/90 mm Hg nondiabetics and <130/80 mm Hg diabetics) in the telemonitoring vs. the usual care group was 1.31 (1.06, 1.62) (5 comparisons, n = 2,432 subjects). Use of telemonitoring was associated with a significantly increased use of antihypertensive medications (+0.22 (+0.02, +0.43), 5 comparisons, n = 1,991).

Conclusions: Home blood pressure telemonitoring may represent a useful tool to improve blood pressure control. However, heterogeneity of published studies suggests that well designed, large-scale, randomized, controlled studies are still needed to demonstrate the clinical usefulness of this technique.

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