why-home-monitoring Why Should I Use a Home Blood Pressure Monitor?
 

Blood Pressure Monitors

Why should I use a home blood pressure monitor?

High blood pressure (HBP) or hypertension is a serious condition that affects about 1 in 3 Americans.
HBP generally has no symptoms. Uncontrolled HBP can lead to stroke, heart failure or kidney failure, but can remain undetected for years. It is important to know if you are at risk because once detected, HBP can generally be treated effectively with the help of your doctor.
Here are some important facts about HBP from the world's leading experts...
 

High blood pressure affects 1-in-3 adults

About 1 in 3 adults in the United States has HBP, which usually has no symptoms. You can have it for years without knowing it. During this time, though, it can damage the heart, blood vessels, kidneys, and other parts of your body.1

  National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health
 

Home monitoring is critical

Because blood pressure can fluctuate throughout the day, home monitoring and recording of blood pressure readings can provide your healthcare provider with valuable information to determine whether you truly have HBP and, if you do, what kind of treatment plan would best suit your needs. Home monitoring can also benefit those individuals already treating HBP by assisting your doctor in determining whether your current treatment plan is working.2

  American Heart Association
 

There is a growing body of literature that indicates that measurements taken by patients at home are often lower than readings taken in the office. Consistent home measurements also tend to be closer to the average blood pressure recorded by a 24-hour ambulatory monitor prescribed by your doctor, which most effectively predicts cardiovascular risk.

  • It is recommended that home blood pressure monitoring become a routine component of blood pressure management and tracking in the majority of patients with known or suspected HBP;
  • Measuring blood pressure at home is of value to patients with diabetes, for whom consistent and accurate blood pressure management is of utmost importance;
  • Other populations may also benefit from home blood pressure measurement, including pregnant women, children, and patients with kidney disease.3
  Joint Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association, American Society of
Hypertension, and Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association
 

Who is at risk?

If one generation of a family has HBP, it is not unusual for the next generation to have similarly high blood pressure. Tracing the illnesses suffered by your parents, grandparents, and other blood relatives can help your doctor predict the disorders for which you may be at risk and take action to keep you and your family healthy.4

  Surgeon General, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
 

The risk of HBP increases as you age. Through early middle age, HBP is more common in men, while women are more likely to develop HBP after menopause. HBP is particularly common among blacks, often developing at an earlier age than it does in whites. Serious complications, such as stroke and heart attack, also are more common in blacks.5

  Mayo Clinic, High Blood Pressure Risk Factors
 

How can I manage my HBP?

Healthy habits can help you control HBP, including6:

  • Following a healthy eating plan, like the "DASH diet" (see below for details)
  • Doing regular physical activity
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Quitting smoking
  • Managing your stress and learning to cope with stress

  National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health
 

The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet is an eating plan that is low in saturated fat, cholesterol and total fat and emphasizes fruits, vegetables, and fat-free or low-fat milk products. While the DASH diet alone results in significant blood pressure lowering, the addition of exercise and weight loss leads to an even greater reduction.7

  American College of Cardiology, 58th Annual Scientific Session
  1 National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/Hbp/HBP_WhatIs.html
2 American Heart Association
http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=219
3 Joint Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association, American Society of Hypertension, and Preventive
Cardiovascular Nurses Association
http://hyper.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/full/52/1/1
4 Surgeon General, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
http://www.hhs.gov/familyhistory/
5 Mayo Clinic, High Blood Pressure Risk Factors
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/high-blood-pressure/DS00100/DSECTION=risk%2Dfactors
6 National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/Hbp/HBP_Treatments.html
7 American College of Cardiology, 58th Annual Scientific Session
http://www.acc.org/media/acc_scientific_session_09/press/monday/ACC09Blumenthal_1215.pdf
 
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