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Why blood pressure monitoring at home is important

Measuring blood pressure at home helps with early diagnosis of hypertension, and cuts healthcare costs.

brand stories Updated: Apr 04, 2018 14:25 IST
(Omron India)

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is one of the leading causes of death worldwide (1). This is because it is a major risk factor for Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD) and Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD). Between 2005 and 2016, IHD accounted for 53% of deaths in India, while CVD accounted for 25.1% of deaths (2). Primarily, the older population is affected by hypertension, with more men than women at risk. The situation is particularly abysmal in rural areas due to lack of proper medical facilities.

The American Heart Association (AHA) and other medical organizations say that checking blood pressure (BP) at home is an important part of managing hypertension. Why is this so? Listed below are the reasons:

•Helps with early diagnosis of hypertension.
•Helps the individual and the doctor make decisions about the treatment.
•Encourages better control.
•Cuts healthcare costs.
•Checks if the blood pressure differs outside the doctor’s clinic.

Knowing the pattern of BP

Knowing the pattern of BP helps the user get accurate and consistent results. BP exhibits a circadian pattern. It tends to be approximately 15% lower between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m., resulting in a surge after 4 a.m. and reaching a peak at about 6 a.m. There is a gradual decline towards the evening, followed by lower readings at night. Therefore, it is important to take certain precautions while using digital BP monitors to get more consistent readings, such as:

•Taking the BP measurement at the same time every day.
•Taking a break of 30 minutes after eating, exercising, bathing, smoking, and consuming caffeine
•Measuring BP in the correct posture.
•Following the instructions given in the manual to find more about how to use the device.

An office/clinic BP reading only offers an instantaneous reading or snapshot of a patient’s BP in a day, and cannot give a true reflection of the BP readings throughout the day or abnormalities in the circadian rhythms. It is important to understand that the readings of a mercury BP monitor commonly used in hospitals and clinics and a digital BP monitor will be different as the working principles involved in the functioning of the two devices is completely different. Therefore, it is recommended to constantly check with the physician to correlate the readings and ascertain the course of action for proper treatment.

Digital vs. conventional BP monitors

Digital BP monitors are better than the conventional mercury BP monitors, as they are more affordable, easier to use, less prone to malfunctioning, and have no effect of environmental noise. In fact, digital BP monitors are widely used in clinical studies across the world.

In 1978, Omron Healthcare was the first company in the world to introduce a digital BP monitor. With over 200 million monitors sold worldwide, Omron’s mission is to help people lead healthy and comfortable lives.

All Omron BP monitors come with a one-touch operation and a patented Intellisense technology that help patients take fast and accurate measurements. Recently, the company launched the Smart Elite HEM-7600T blood pressure monitor that is in line with the increasingly connected world. It is compatible with the OMRON connect app, which makes it easy to record, view, and manage health data on an IOS or Android phone. One of the noteworthy features is the IntelliWrap Cuff that snaps on the arm easily and delivers accurate readings, regardless of how you put it on. What’s more, the Omron app utilises the latest Bluetooth technology for stable connections and lower power consumption.

Omron hopes that by 2020, its products will help eliminate cases of brain stroke or heart attack across the world.

The Omron Connect app (available on Google Play store and App store) also allows users to connect any Omron BP monitor by following simple steps.The app offers weekly and monthly graphical dashboards and hence helps the user to take charge of their health and make necessary efforts to get their BP under check and sharing the results with their doctors and loved ones instantly.

As an organization, we have a vision to contribute towards Zero Heart Attack and Zero Brain Stroke worldwide by the year 2020. And with these progressive offerings, we are striving to come one step closer to achieving our vision.

People need to take a note of the fact that digital blood pressure monitors are available widely and without a prescription, so home monitoring is an easy step towards improving their health. Knowing the right technique and finding a reliable home blood pressure monitor is essential.

— By Rohit Saini, General Manager, Sales and Marketing, Omron India

References:

1.Ezzati M, Lopez AD, Rodgers A, et al., Comparative Risk Assessment Collaborating Group. Selected major risk factors and global and regional burden of disease, Lancet, 2002;360:1347-60.

2.Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation