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Why It Pays to Check Your Own Blood Pressure

You cannot necessarily feel elevated blood pressure, yet do not let it deceive you. Hypertension—a steady level of blood pressure at 130/80 mm Hg or greater—may take a life-threatening toll upon your heart, brain, and blood vessels for years without producing any symptoms. That is why elevated blood pressure often is referred to as the silent killer.

The only method of finding out if you have hypertension includes having your blood pressure evaluated.

If you have elevated blood pressure, checking it on your own at home—in conjunction with getting it measured at your physician’s office—is one of the steps to take to get your critical numbers under control. That is according to new studies introduced at the 2018 AHA (American Heart Association’s) Joint Hypertension Scientific Sessions.

For the research, scientists assessed treatment plans for 2,550 adults who had elevated blood pressure. Their blood pressure figures weren’t well controlled as the research started. As a portion of their treatment program, they obtained complimentary blood pressure monitors in conjunction with reminders and instructions.

Among these findings:

• By the 3rd trip to their physician, almost 67% of the adults had their blood pressure under control. The blood pressure control dropped slightly by their 6th trip.
• However, by study’s end, 72% of adults had accomplished blood pressure control per the most recent AHA/ACC (American College of Cardiology) guidelines. That is despite the truth that new guidelines are stricter than before.

What is up with blood pressure?

Blood pressure readings are offered as two numbers: the top number (systolic) and the bottom one (diastolic). Under these new guidelines:

• Elevated blood pressure begins as the systolic figure is 130 or greater or the diastolic number is 80 or greater.
• High blood pressure is 120 to 129 systolic and under 80 diastolic.
• Regular blood pressure is under 120 mm HG systolic and under 80 diastolic.

Both the ACC and AHA suggest home blood pressure observance. It assists in painting an accurate picture of the control of blood pressure.

For example, some folks may have normal blood pressure at a physician’s office yet not at home. It’s referred to as masked hypertension. Plus, it may make it appear as if their blood pressure is okay when it really is not. Other folks might have high blood pressure readings at a physician’s office yet not at home.

Speak with your physician

Elevated blood pressure is very serious. It is a major cause of stroke and heart disease. However, it typically has no symptoms you would feel. Therefore, regularly measuring it is important. It is the only way you can know if you have elevated blood pressure to start with and if the treatment is working.

If you have elevated blood pressure, ask your physician if you ought to keep track of your numbers between visits. In addition, various kinds of blood pressure monitors are available in stores.

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