Blood Pressure Screening
After the article on world hypertension day, we at International Medical Treatment Ltd (IMT) hope that you now understand the importance of getting your blood pressure checked regularly. Apart from that, we thought it was also important to educate you on how blood pressure is checked and what the BP readings mean.
What you need to know about screening of blood pressure
Blood pressure is measured using an inflatable arm cuff which is wrapped around the arm, and a pressure measuring gauge used to record the readings in millimetres of mercury (mmHg).
It records the measurements in two numbers; the upper number standing for pressure in the arteries when the heart beats and is referred to as Systolic pressure, and the lower number standing for pressure in the arteries between beats and is termed Diastolic pressure. When written together these readings are separated using a slash sign “/”.
What are the Blood Pressure categories?
Once blood pressure is measured, depending on the measurements recorded, it can fall under:
- Normal BP-which goes below 120/80mmHg.
- Elevated BP-which occurs when the systolic reading is from 120 to 129mm/Hg and the diastolic reading is below 80mmHg.
Being a hypertension awareness month, let us focus on the stages of high blood pressure. How do you know how severe your blood pressure is?
- Stage 1 hypertension: When the systolic pressure ranges from 130 to 139mmHg and the diastolic is at 80 to 89mmHg.
- Stage 2 hypertension: When the systolic is 140mmHg or higher and the diastolic is at 90mmHg or higher.
- Hypertensive Crisis-When the diastolic reading is over 180mmHg and the diastolic reading is over 120mmHg.
Age and Blood Pressure Goals
As one grows older, the systolic reading becomes more significant and especially for people above 60 years who are at a higher risk of suffering from Isolated Systolic Hypertension. This condition involves having a normal diastolic reading but a systolic reading higher than 140mmHg.
The following readings will help you to ensure that you maintain the blood pressure required in regard to your age.
- 60 years or older-less than 150/90mmHg
- Younger than 60 years-Less than 140/90mmHg
- For people with diabetes, chronic kidney diseases, coronary artery disease, or are at a higher risk of developing coronary artery disease-Less than 140/90mmHg
If you have a problem with your blood pressure, the medications your doctor can prescribes to help control it, depends on your blood pressure measurements and if you suffer from any other underlying medical problems. Therefore, it is important to help your doctor understand your medical history and any condition(s) that may affect you either currently or in the past.
Home Blood Pressure Monitoring
If you need to check your blood pressure regularly, you do not have to keep going to hospital to have your blood pressure checked, as there are home monitors which are affordable and easy to use.
With the above information, you can now monitor your own blood pressure. When doing so, ensure:
- You’re still; do not drink caffeinated beverages, smoke or exercise 30 minutes before taking the readings
- You sit in the right position (upright with your back supported on chair)
- You measure at the same time daily
- You take multiple readings are record them
- You do not take the measurements over a shirt or other clothes.
Please share this article to help people understand the importance of checking your blood pressure. Everyone should have their blood pressure checked. The earlier people discover any issues with their blood pressure, the easier it is to begin controlling the condition.