Diagnosis and management of hypertension: around-the-clock ambulatory blood pressure monitoring is substantially more effective and less costly than daytime office blood pressure measurements
The cost-effectiveness of ambulatory blood pressure (BP) monitoring (ABPM) versus traditional office BP measurement (OBPM) for the diagnosis and management of hypertension has been evaluated only by few studies and based solely on the reduction of medical care expenses through avoiding treatment of isolated-office hypertension. Data from the 21963 participants in the Hygia Project, a multicenter outcomes study that incorporates into routine primary care periodic, at least yearly, 48 h ABPM evaluation, were utilized to assess the cost-effectiveness – relative to vascular pathology expenditures countrywide in Spain – of ABPM versus OBPM. The actual reported Spanish healthcare expenditure for vascular pathology in 2015 – aggregate costs of medical examinations, outpatient and inpatient care, therapeutic interventions, plus non-healthcare services (productivity losses due to morbidity/mortality and informal family/friends-provided care) – was used to compare yearly costs when diagnostic and treatment decisions for hypertension are based on the OBPM versus the ABPM-model. Our economic analysis is based on the more realistic and feasible approach of restricting ABPM solely to high-risk individuals of age ≥60 years and/or with diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and/or previous cardiovascular event, who in the Hygia Project accounted for >90% of all documented events. The projected net benefit countrywide in favor of the proposed ABPM-model is ~5294M€/year, i.e., 360.33€/year (95%CI [347.52–374.85]) per ABPM-evaluated person. This highly conservative economic analysis indicates ABPM is a much more cost-effective strategy than repeated OBPM not only for accurate diagnosis and management of true hypertension but marked reduction of expenditures on elevated BP-associated vascular pathology.