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Cardiovascular highlights from non-cardiology journals
  1. Alistair C Lindsay, Editor

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General cardiology

Ambulatory BP monitoring cost-effective

Affecting a billion people, hypertension is the cardiovascular risk factor associated with the highest mortality worldwide. There are well-documented problems in the detection of hypertension, as it varies throughout the day and in response to various stimuli. Out-of-office options have been developed that monitor blood pressure either at home or while ambulatory, and have been shown to correlate better with cardiovascular prognosis.

Lovibond and colleagues used a Markov model-based probabilistic cost-effectiveness analysis to compare out-of-office blood pressure recording (both ambulatory and home systems) against conventional repeat clinic measurement in a hypothetical primary-care population aged over 40 with a raised screening blood-pressure. The model made predictions on lifetime costs, quality-adjusted life years and cost-effectiveness. Both of the out-of-office approaches were initially slightly more expensive than repeat clinic measurement. However, the increased accuracy in diagnosis of hypertension resulted in ambulatory blood pressure monitoring being more cost-effective in the diagnosis of hypertension in all sub-groups (from –£56 (95% CI −£105 to −£10) in men aged 75 years to −£323 (95% CI −£389 to −£222) in women aged 40 years) in addition to resulting in more QALYs in the over fifties.

Conclusions

Following a raised clinic blood pressure reading, …

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