Monday, April 19, 2021

Blood Pressure

Managing hypertension can help ensure a long healthy life.

Omron BP652N
Omron BP652N

Why It's Important

From the CDC: "High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, both of which are leading causes of death in the US. Nearly one-third of all American adults have high blood pressure and more than half of them don’t have it under control..."

When your blood pressure is high:

  • You are 4 times more likely to die from a stroke
  • You are 3 times more likely to die from heart disease

While your doctor should help you manage your blood pressure on every regular visit, it can actually be more effective to keep track of your blood pressure at home.

What To Know

  1. Most of the many devices on the market are not validated for accuracy.
  2. Validation standard is ±10mm hg, which is seriously unhelpful.
  3. Stick to established brands with a reputation for accuracy.
  4. For best results, take 3 consecutive readings at 1 minute intervals, and average them.
  5. Supermarket and drugstore machines are often not maintained for accuracy.
  6. Doctor's office readings are often too high (white coat hypertension) or too low (masked hypertension).

What To Look For

  1. Accuracy.
  2. Automatic (rather than manual) operation.
  3. Ease of use.
  4. Flexible, comfortable cuff with good fit.
  5. Quiet, gentle operation.
  6. Averaging of 3 readings.

Recommended Devices

Recommended Reading