Hypertension is a very common medical condition that can affect people of any age. Many people do not have this condition properly diagnosed and the dangers of untreated or poorly treated hypertension can lead to heart attacks, strokes, heart and renal failure and deterioration of vision.
The normal blood pressure values for adults are:
<135/85 mmHG during the day and <120/75 mmHG during the night
Diagnosis of hypertension can be very difficult due to the fact some people have high blood pressure readings only after hours or at night and a single blood pressure measurement at the Doctors surgery could be still within a normal range. Also cardiovascular risk (heart attacks and strokes) are increased if the difference in day and night mean blood pressure values is less than 10%.
Up to 20% of patients with completely normal blood pressure values have elevated blood pressure when they come to have it checked by their doctor (so-called “White Coat” hypertension).
Measuring patient’s blood pressure during a 24 hour period is particularly useful for identifying the influence of physical activity and daily life stress on blood pressure, assessing apparent drug-resistant hypertension and reinforcing the requirement for anti-hypertensive drug therapy to keep blood pressure levels within the appropriate ranges.
This is why measuring and assessing the variations in blood pressure in a 24 hour period is important in not only monitoring the efficacy of treatment of patients with known cases of hypertension, but also with all possible new cases.
Here at Rich River Health Group Centre we have a state-of-the-art blood pressure monitor which is a watch like device. It is fitted by one of our experienced nurses in the morning, from Monday to Thursday. The device measures your blood pressure at a set sequence for a 24 hour period.
While the monitor is fitted patients should restrain from any strenuous activity, such as vigorous exercise and swimming or taking a shower.
Patients return to the surgery the next morning for the blood pressure readings to be downloaded into their medical file for follow up and discussion with their own GP.