High Blood Pressure on Rise: How to Manage Yourself

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Experts say that it is important for people to read their blood pressure and then adapt lifestyles and medication regiments to manage it. Getty Images
  • An increasing number of people in the United States have high blood pressure that is not managed effectively.
  • While earlier data suggested that blood pressure control was improving, data over the years have seen a decrease.
  • High blood pressure increases the risk of heart attack, stroke and many other serious health problems.
  • People should keep an eye on their blood pressure and check it at least once per year.
  • Family members can help by encouraging loved ones to make healthy lifestyle choices.

New research reports that “uncontrolled hypertension” is an increasing problem in adults in the United States.

The findings were presented at the Virtual American Heart Association’s Hypertension Scientific Session 2020 this week.

The report, which has not been peer reviewed or has not yet been published, offers a vague picture of the current scenario.

Data collected by 2014 showed that an increasing number of Americans were managing their blood pressure, but 2015 and 2016 data saw a drop of more than 6 percent.

Additionally, the percentage of American adults with controlled hypertension decreased by 11 percent between 2013 and 2018. The percentage of adults with controlled blood pressure in their 40s and 50s also fell by about 10 percent between 2009 and 2018.

Healthcare at Northwell Health’s Sandra Atlas Base Heart Hospital in Northwell, Director of Cardiovascular Health and Lipidology, Dr. Guy L. “This study should serve as a wake-up call to all physicians,” he told Mintz.

“The alarm should go off because we are doing a lousy job of diagnosing high blood pressure and failing effective treatment and control of hypertension,” he said.

Dr. Brent M. Egan, who is the lead author of the study, a professor at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, and the American Medical Association’s vice president of cardiovascular disease prevention, told Healthline that it’s important for people to understand that maintaining healthy blood pressure is a constant. Process.

“People with high blood pressure should be aware of their condition, so they can take steps to control it. For many individuals, management involves both a healthy lifestyle and medicines, ”Egan said. “Effective self-management involves taking necessary and adequate medication along with a healthy lifestyle to control blood pressure. [It is] A consistent, long-term, ongoing process and not a relevant event. ”

Egan explains that blood pressure that is not well managed can increase the risk of heart attack, heart failure, and stroke, in the same way that high blood pressure can affect blood vessels and the heart.

Other somewhat serious side effects may include headaches, fatigue, decreased exercise tolerance, and blurred vision.

Mintz said a wrinkle can cause confusion in doctors and patients, as there is more than one way to read blood pressure.

While physicians have taken blood pressure readings using a stethoscope for years, there is a different method.

This is called ambulance blood pressure monitoring, which takes readings for a 24-hour period, and is considered more accurate.

“The challenge of making ambulanceary blood pressure the gold standard for the diagnosis of hypertension involves a focused education against the condensation of majority physicians,” Mintz said. “Many physicians bald at the expense of an ambulance blood pressure monitor, which ranged from $ 1,500 to $ 3,000 depending on the type of monitor. The reluctance to purchase an ambulance blood pressure monitor for this procedure is also related to limited insurance coverage. However, it has improved recently. “

Egan said that it is important for people to know their blood pressure numbers by getting readings at least once per year.

They should also be aware of which blood pressure category – normal, elevated, stage 1 hypertension, or stage 2 hypertension – they fall.

From there, it is important to follow up with a doctor to determine if lifestyle interventions or medications may be needed to manage their blood pressure.

“For many patients, training in self-monitored blood pressure, including recording values ​​and reintegrating those for the health team, is beneficial in improving blood pressure control,” Egan said.

Says Egan, but it’s not just the personal and their doctor’s help who can help. Family members can also get great support.

“Lifestyle changes are made simultaneously,” he said. “Move along. Take healthy food and snacks together. Sometimes, helping with medication and medical appointments requires assistance with transportation or costs.”

Egan also noted that the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Medical Association (AMA) have launched a national initiative, known as Target: BP, that helps medical providers across the country to lower blood pressure control rates. Trying to help improve.

He added that healthcare professionals can also use programs proven to improve blood pressure control. This includes the AMA’s MAP BP program, which stands for accurate measurement, functions rapidly, and partners with patients and families.

“AMA and AHA are partnering on the Goal: BP and MAP BP programs to improve high blood pressure control rates nationally and equity in blood pressure control and cardiovascular outcomes,” Egan said.

Finally, it is important for everyone to be aware of the serious risks associated with high blood pressure.

“Hypertension remains a ‘silent killer’ because there are no symptoms and it is a major risk factor for heart attack, stroke and progressive kidney disease,” Mintz said.


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