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By Liza Klassen | July 2021 | Reviewed by Dr. Kelly Clinning ND
Why getting comfortable with consistent blood pressure measurement is essential for your cardiovascular health.
Hypertension, also called high blood pressure, is the leading cause of preventable death and disability in Canada. It’s preventable because early intervention can reduce your risk of serious cardiovascular outcomes like heart attack and stroke. Unfortunately, in 2020, for the first time in decades, the rate of hypertension among Canadians increased1.
Leading hypertension expert, Dr. Raj Padwal, identifies regular measuring and monitoring of blood pressure as one of the key interventions for timely diagnosis and management of hypertension. Knowledge is power when it comes to healthy blood pressure! At-home blood pressure measurements are a convenient and effective way to stay on top of your cardiovascular health. However, many people avoid this important healthy habit due to the fear of ‘high numbers.’ This blog will help you move from fearing blood pressure monitoring to feeling empowered to take control of your health!
From Fear to Friend
Anxiety around blood pressure readings is very common, both in the doctor’s office (known as “white coat syndrome”) and when taking measurements at home. The most important thing to remember is that these numbers are not a reflection of success or failure. They are simply data points to help guide and inform treatment to achieve your goals!
Here are four simple tips for minimizing the anxiety associated with blood pressure monitoring:
Understanding your Numbers
While it can be discouraging to see a 2-5 mmHg decrease in your blood pressure, minor changes have a significant impact on preventing cardiovascular outcomes like heart attack and stroke! A recent study that looked at blood pressure in 348,854 participants over 48 different trials found that reducing blood pressure by just five mmHg leads to a:
Understanding your numbers and getting to know your average blood pressure range will help both you and your health care provider create and maintain a treatment plan that is right for you!
How to Take At-Home Blood Pressure Measurements
Consistency is vital for blood pressure readings; that’s why at-home monitoring is just as important as in-office readings with your physician or pharmacist. Current guidelines recommend two back-to-back readings in the morning and evening for a week to get an accurate average. Dr. Padwal typically suggests people go through the process about once a month. While the frequency at which you measure your blood pressure is essential, so is how you measure it. Ensure that you are using a validated BP device and you record your readings. Remember, knowledge is power when it comes to cardiovascular health. Knowing and understanding your numbers helps you to make informed decisions.
For more expert advice on blood pressure health, and overall health and wellbeing, visit our growing library of articles at precardix.com/blog.
Always consult with your health care provider before making changes to your blood pressure management plan. PreCardix® does not treat, cure or prevent medical conditions. Measure and monitor blood pressure regularly. Know the signs of heart attack and stroke. Do not take PreCardix® if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have renal artery stenosis, history of angioneurotic edema or shellfish allergy.