Were You Properly Diagnosed?
A vast amount of physicians are diagnosing hypertension without properly assessing a patient’s blood pressure during the course of a 24-hour period using Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring. Simply put, ABPM provides valuable diagnostic information that in-clinic and home blood pressure monitoring systems are incapable of measuring including:
- BP variability and a more accurate estimation of true blood pressure
- Overnight changes in blood pressure (dipper status)
- Morning surges in blood pressure
And Did You Know?
- More than 40% of adults worldwide have hypertension – a staggering figure.
- More than 25% of individuals diagnosed with hypertension are being unnecessarily treated with anti-hypertensive medications.
- A new category, pre-hypertension (120/80 – 139/89 mm Hg), has been established which has led to:
- Hypertension is diagnosed more often.
- Pharmacological intervention occurs more frequently.
So, What's the Bottom Line?
Be sure to ask your physician about ABPM, especially if you are borderline for hypertension. As it stands today, not only are patient’s taking medication when lifestyle modifications may be a realistic option; but prescribing unnecessary medication to those patients with mild hypertension costs $32 billion each year just in the U.S. (recent analysis report published in BMJ)
Some doctors are reaching for anti-hypertensive meds more frequently, because the treatment can provide results more quickly. “Prescribing a pill is the path of least resistance, but it’s a lot of money,” says Vikas Saini, President of the Lown Institute. Saini indicates that a cause of this trend is a lack of confidence in a patient’s ability to implement and maintain lifestyle modifications, such as tobacco cessation and daily exercise, which has been proven to lower blood pressure.
Proper diagnosis is the key, so make sure you stay informed about your options!
To find out more visit: Time.com