In the year 2015, 1 in 4 men and 1 in 5 women had hypertension. Over the years, it has grown to become one among the global target for non-communicable diseases to reduce hypertension by 25 percent by 2025, starting with 2010 as a baseline.
Hypertension makes for a serious medical condition and is nothing but a condition of elevated blood pressure. Therefore, it further increases the risk of other non-communicable diseases relating to the heart, brain, or even kidney. Hypertension can cause serious damage to the heart. Excessive pressure can harden arteries, decreasing the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart. The lack of oxygen further affects the rest of the organs. And thus, it goes without saying how important it becomes to keep the blood pressure on the check.
As mentioned before, hypertension is when blood pressure is high. Therefore, to understand what is high and low, the blood pressure notation needs to be understood. Blood pressure is written as two numbers. The first (systolic) number represents the pressure in blood vessels when the heart contracts or beats. The second (diastolic) number represents the pressure in the vessels when the heart rests between beats.
With a constant increase in the number of people affected with hypertension and the unpredictability of its occurrence, relying on the hospital to keep it under constant check seemed a bit of a tedious task. And not just that, with the advancements seen in science and technology, which includes medicine as well, a more user-friendly device was imperative. What resulted and further subjugated to advancements led to the inception of digital blood pressure machine.
Home blood pressure monitoring becomes an essential tool for the clinical management of patients with hypertension. However, it becomes important to monitor the blood pressure of those who are prone to have fluctuations. It has its advantages and disadvantages. Among the major advantages are:
- the ease with which the techniques can be learned
- reproducibility of values
- sensitivity of measurement
- Availability of normotensive data.
Rightly said, they don’t substitute for a hospital assessment when deciding on the treatment plan. Especially for the ones who are yet to be diagnosed, despite the ability to tell whether a subject has normal or abnormal values, because of the lack of prospective mortality/morbidity data, home blood pressure monitoring cannot be used to decide whether treatment is indicated. The treatment decisions are charted out based on repeated clinic blood pressure readings. Once diagnosed, the home blood pressure monitoring can be used to keep track of the readings and also check for the effect of the intervention being implemented.
Also, digital blood pressure machine, like other BP check machines, gives a chance to mitigate the risk of cardiac illness and stroke. They are easy to carry around and ensure close to accurate blood pressure checks available in the market. Certain devices can send blood pressure reports to doctors, and it might help in creating strategies for long-term treatment plans as well. This comes beneficial, especially to today’s generation, given the hectic schedule people have to follow.
Some of the reasons for the need for regular In-Home Blood Pressure Monitoring are these regular checks can offer a thorough insight into the health of an individual and present a variety of benefits, including:
- Diagnosing the undiagnosed
According to a Research done involving 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring indicates that most people experience two peaks in their blood pressure each day, typically between 6 and 8AM and later between 5 and 8PM. The blood pressure is generally elevated between 30 to 50mmHg during these peak periods. Because these peak periods fall outside of the normal schedule of most doctors’ appointment times, one can go undiagnosed. Self-testing provides the opportunity for readings during these peak periods and thereby helps the doctor identify early-onset hypertension.
- Enable the identification of “white coat hypertension”
Some individuals experience elevated blood pressure when in a medical setting due to the stress of being in the doctor’s office or hospital. The home assessment allows rule out hypertension, which may be associated with this situational high blood pressure, and this phenomenon is known as “white coat hypertension.”
- A close check on complications and enabling emergency treatment administration
As mentioned, individuals with hypertension tend to suffer from different complications. These may include diabetes, heart disease, hyperlipidaemia, kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, etc. For example, for general hypertension, the ideal blood pressure is at 140/90mmHg; however, with diabetes or kidney disease, the ideal levels at 130/80mmHg. Furthermore, if the 24-hour urine protein is greater than 1 gram, the pressure should be controlled at 125/75mmHg, or the increase in blood pressure may accelerate the damage to the internal organs.
Thus, it all comes down to monitoring and immediate action, for prevention is better than cure, which in this case is a further intensive treatment for complications.