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Ambulatory 24 hour Blood Pressure Monitor(ABPM)

Dr Siva Nachiappan, September 2016

There are few factors that affect blood pressure when visiting Doctors.(Reference: 1)

  • White Coat Hypertension - worry about being at the doctors
  • Strenuous exercise 30 minutes before measurement
  • Smoking
  • Ingestion of caffeine.

It takes a few visits with your doctor to figure if your blood pressure is really up or not. One solution to avoid repeated visits to your doctor is to have a 24 hour blood pressure monitor fitted at Eastmed Doctors. It takes the guess work out of the picture. Blood pressure recorded out the doctors office is considered to be more accurate.

ABPM has been considered to be the reference standard for the diagnosis of hypertension and is a better predictor of future cardiovascular events as compared with conventional office-based BP measurements.Compared with ABPM, the sensitivity and specificity of office-based BP measurements are poor (Reference 2)

A 24 hour BP machine, is a specialised Blood Pressure machine which comes with a standard blood pressure cuff and machine which could be clipped to your waist or else where, it pumps up every hour or so, recording your blood pressure automatically over a period of 24 hours. Once you return your machine, the data in the machine is collated and processed to reveal the true story.

It can also be used to see

  • If your blood pressure treatment is working well.
  • If your blood pressure is so low at home that you are feeling dizzy, in which case we can reduce your tablets or stop it if it causing you more harm.
  • If your blood pressure will not go down on treatment.

An undiagnosed elevated blood pressure is called a 'Silent Killer' as there are no symptoms suggestive of elevation and it causes a lot of damage if untreated including, enlarged heart and strokes and heart attacks and kidney damage. This can all be avoided by prompt treatment of your blood pressure.

About 20-40% of patients may have masked hypertension, which means the blood pressure recording is normal at the doctors, but they have the issues of enlarged heart diagnosed at some other time, referred for AMBP and found to have elevated blood pressure. So this makes it a valid point to have ABPM even if you have normal blood pressure at the doctors. (Reference 3)

Considerable data suggest that measurement of nighttime blood pressure yields additional prognostic data in terms of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular events.(Reference 4)

If you wish to have your BP monitored by this technique or if your doctor wishes to have this done for you, you can ring your nurse and book yourself in for having this fitted right now at Eastmed Doctors. The cost to have this done and interpreted by your doctor is $160.00


  1. Factors affecting office BP
  2. ABPM is superior to office BP measure
  3. Masked Hypertension
  4. Night time BP