Blood pressure - one of the principal vital signs.
Blood pressure is the pressure that is exerted by the blood upon the walls of the blood vessels. The height of the pressure is determined by the amount of blood the heart pumps and the resistance of the arteries.
Systole (SYS): This is also known as the upper blood pressure. It is the maximum pressure that is exerted by the blood upon the blood vessels.
Diastole (DIA): This is also known as under blood pressure. It is the minimum pressure that is exerted by the blood upon the blood vessels.
Pulse rate (PUL): This is the number of heartbeats per minute.
Due to the presence of a doctor or nurse during blood pressure measurement in a clinical environment, the blood pressure of most people is higher than at home. This is called “white coat effect”. For this reason there are different blood pressure values for blood pressure at the doctor’s office than at home.
The threshold values of high blood pressure are as follows:
|Systole (SYS)||Diastole (DIA)|
|At home||≥ 135 mmHg||≥ 85 mmHg|
|Office||≥ 140 mmHg||≥ 90 mmHg|
An excessively elevated arterial blood pressure initially acts on the blood vessels by making their walls more rigid and thicker. Over the long term, it can have serious consequences for organs such as the heart, the brain or the kidneys. It remains an important risk factor in cardiovascular diseases. Stroke and heart attack are the most frequently observed consequences in persons with untreated high blood pressure.
Microlife blood pressure monitors perform measurements by applying the so called “oscillometric method”. This method is well accepted worldwide for over 30 years and is also used in hospitals, whenever the blood pressure measurement of patients is intensively checked and has to be highly accurate. Thereby, the blood pressure is determined by analysing the pressure oscillations that can be measured during the deflation period of the cuff pressure.
International hypertension societies recommend taking several blood pressure measurements on several days, under comparable circumstances and during the same time of the day (morning and evening) and then form the mean value of these measurements. This average value represents the individual blood pressure.
Blood pressure constantly fluctuates, even in rest condition. Hence, doctors and hypertension societies recommend taking at least two readings every time and average the results. Several measurements provide much more reliable information about the blood pressure than just one single measurement.
Microlife recommends using blood pressure monitors with implemented MAM technology with which automatically takes three measurements and then the average is displayed.
As a matter of fact, blood pressure measurement taken at home is a better estimate of the individual’s blood pressure value than blood pressure measurement in the doctor’s office. One reason is that many people suffer from "white coat effect" in the doctor’s office. However, the opposite is also seen: an underestimated blood pressure at the doctor’s office as compared to the measurement at home. This is called masked hypertension.
It is recommended that doctors perform a double arm measurement on a patient’s first visit in order to determine which arm to be measured in the future. The arm with the higher blood pressure should be measured.
Under no circumstances should the dosage of prescribed drugs be changed without consulting the doctor.