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This work is funded by the Medical Research Council (Grant reference: MR/K022032/1)

  • The aim of the PROOF-ABPM study is to gather information about people’s blood pressure measured in routine clinical practice and recorded in their medical records.
  • This information will be used to examine novel strategies for the diagnosis and management of high blood pressure.

High blood pressure (hypertension) affects over 900 million people across the world. It is an important risk factor for developing heart attacks or stroke which are the leading cause of death and disability worldwide. The diagnosis and management of hypertension depends on accurate measurement of blood pressure in order to target treatment appropriately and avoid unnecessary healthcare costs.

Traditionally, blood pressure measurement takes place in the doctor’s clinic in a General Practice or hospital setting. However, it has long been recognised that taking an average of multiple readings taken across a 24 hour period (known as ambulatory blood pressure) estimates true mean blood pressure more accurately. Measuring ambulatory blood pressure is time consuming and expensive and so it is often avoided in routine clinical practice unless considered absolutely necessary.

The aim of the PROOF-ABPM study is to establish which patients would benefit most from undergoing 24 hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring. For example, in which patients should we perform ambulatory blood pressure monitoring to confirm a provisional diagnosis of hypertension? We will use the information collected within this study to test new strategies which allow doctors to target monitoring at patients with the most to gain. We will set up a Prospective Register Of all patients undergoing repeated OFfice and Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring in Primary Care, Secondary Care and at pharmacies. Data contained within the register will include patient characteristics, repeated clinic and ambulatory blood pressure, clinical assessment data and subsequent admissions to hospital and mortality. The PROOF-ABPM will be unique in its consideration of multiple clinic blood pressure measurements in relation to ambulatory blood pressure readings taken in routine clinical practice. 

Patients will be eligible for the study if they are aged 18 years or older and have been referred by their doctor for routine ambulatory blood pressure monitoring. Those giving informed consent will be asked for permission to let the research team store personal information (name, address, date of birth, NHS number) and link it to information about a the participant’s blood pressure and medical history. We will also share this information with the NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre to allow us to follow the participant’s health status in the future. We will not share identifiable information with any other parties and participants will not be expected to undergo any additional tests as a result of participation in this study.

The study will run from May 2015 up to the end of December 2017. The findings of this study will enable us to better understand the variation in blood pressure when it is measured in different settings. This information will permit more accurate blood pressure measurement in the future, improving the quality of patient care in hypertension and cardiovascular disease prevention.

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