Hypertension continues to affect millions across the world and leads to close to 7 million premature death every year globally. The World Health Organisation describes blood pressure as “the force of blood against the artery walls as it circulates through the body. High blood pressure or hypertension is the constant pumping of blood through blood vessels with excessive force.” Blood pressure levels less than 120/80 mmHg is considered normal in average adult population. On the event of the annual World Hypertension Day, The Indian Medical Association carried out an activity that set out to measure blood pressure levels among doctors.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA), in collaboration with the Heart Care Foundation and Eris Lifesciences conducted an exercise with an aim to measure blood pressure levels amongst the medical fraternity in a single day. Experts revealed that blood pleasure readings may differ when taken at home and in clinic. Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring is therefore a more consistent and accurate method of measuring blood pressure levels. Close to 20,000 ABPM readings were procured from around 500 doctors to conclude that about 20% of the doctors had high blood pressure which actually didn’t appear when measured through the conventional blood pressure monitoring devices.
Masked hypertension is associated with increased long- term risk of sustained hypertension and cardiovascular morbidity, said K K Aggarwal, national president of IMA. “Evaluating both daytime and nighttime blood pressure is crucial for predicting all cardiovascular events,” Aggrawal said.
Nearly 56% of the doctors suffered from irregular BP pattern at night making them prone to future adverse cardiac events, while 37 per cent had nocturnal hypertension, which can never be diagnosed in a clinic blood pressure measurement. Over 50 per cent physicians had uncontrolled hypertension despite taking medication, the official said. ABPM is an effective technique to determine the efficacy of the ongoing BP medication and to monitor blood pressure trends while one sleeps at night.
Hypertension is one of the leading causes of cardiovascular ailments all across the world. Since the symptoms are difficult to detect, it is advisable to get your BP monitored regularly. If you see an upward trend in your blood pressure readings, get in touch with a medical expert and consider altering your diet and lifestyle. Ditch excessive salt and processed food items as well as saturated and trans-fats. Load up on fresh fruits and veggies along with foods rich in potassium, magnesium and calcium. Regular exercising and maintaining a healthy weight and blood glucose levels is of the utmost importance. Let your doctor know in case you have a family history of high blood pressure. Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, sleep on time and keep stress at bay.