Do you know why the monitoring of blood pressure is important? Yes, you heard right monitoring of blood pressure because it provides us the information regarding our raised blood pressure throughout its range which is the most significant cause of death and disabilities.
Measuring blood pressure on daily bases is also important for hypertension.
To understand the importance of Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring (ABPM), one must first understand why it is important to measure blood pressure.
Although hypertension specialists understand the value of ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, some primary care physicians do not understand the utility of ABPM in controlling blood pressure in the home.
What is Blood Pressure (BP)?
Blood pressure measurements are typically displayed as a ratio, such as 120/80. Systolic BP (the top number in the ratio) is the peak pressure in the arteries when the heart pumps, while diastolic BP (the bottom number in the ratio) is the minimum pressure in the arteries when the heart relaxes between beats. The well-known standard for blood pressure is keeping it below 140/90.
When your heart beats, it pumps blood around your body to give it the energy and oxygen it needs. When the blood moves, it pushes against the walls of the blood vessels. The strength of this push is your blood pressure. If your blood pressure is too high, it puts additional pressure on your arteries (and your heart), which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
Why is Having Blood Pressure Measured Important?
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) accounts for one-third of all deaths worldwide, and high blood pressure is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and stroke. High blood pressure in industrialized countries is not a new problem, and now it is becoming more common in developing regions of the world.
How Can You Measure Your Blood Pressure?
There are two types of blood pressure measurement: physician’s office BP and home BP. It’s important to understand the differences between the types of blood pressure measurement techniques to understand what is best suited for you.
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Office Blood Pressure Measurement:
Every time you visit a doctor, you should measure your blood pressure. It is usually measured at the beginning of the visit after sitting in the waiting room and measuring your vital signs such as weight, height, temperature. This is the measure of blood pressure in the office. Your blood pressure will vary during the day depending on your activities, mood, and level of stress. This blood pressure reading is not enough to tell the whole story. Do you think your blood pressure is the same when you drive at peak times as when you’re at home? It is not! Measuring blood pressure at home and measuring outpatient blood pressure will give your doctor much more information than your blood pressure reading during a consultation visit.
Home Blood Pressure Measurement:
Cheap home BP monitors are widely used in pharmacies, making patient monitoring of blood pressure more frequent outside the clinic. This easy access to home blood pressure measurements has improved patient awareness of health and treatment. Home BP monitors also help to better understand how blood pressure changes during the day and give the physician more information that can be measured in the doctor’s office.
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