Hypertension is a serious medical condition and can increase the risk of heart, brain, kidney and other diseases. It is a major cause of premature death worldwide, with upwards of 1 in 4 men and 1 in 5 women – over a billion people – having the condition.
Improving our knowledge of the patient’s blood pressure data, facilitates an improved understanding of each individual’s condition, so we can more proactively manage this condition.
Hypertension, also known as high or raised blood pressure, is a condition in which the blood vessels have persistently raised pressure. Blood is carried from the heart to all parts of the body in the vessels.
Each time the heart beats, it pumps blood into the vessels. Blood pressure is created by the force of blood pushing against the walls of blood vessels (arteries) as it is pumped by the heart. The higher the pressure, the harder the heart has to pump.
Many people with hypertension do not notice symptoms and may be unaware there is a problem. Symptoms can include early morning headaches, nosebleeds, irregular heart rhythms, vision changes, and buzzing in the ears. More severe forms may exhibit fatigue, nausea, vomiting, confusion, anxiety, chest pain, and muscle tremors.
If left untreated, hypertension can cause persistent chest pain (also called angina), heart attacks, heart failure, kidney damage, and an irregular heartbeat, and stroke which can lead to a sudden death.
At Top Health Doctors group, we have one of the most advanced systems in detecting and monitoring your blood pressure known as 24-Hour Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitor.
24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring is a method to measure blood pressure on a continuous basis. The ongoing data helps your doctor get a more accurate picture of your blood pressure numbers.
Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring allows your blood pressure (BP) readings to be recorded over a 24-hour period, whether you’re awake or asleep. When you’re at your doctor’s office or clinic, an instrument called a sphygmomanometer is used to take your BP readings. Usually, only one or two readings are taken during your visit.
Ambulatory BP monitoring yields many readings over a continuous period. In most cases, readings are taken every 20 to 30 minutes during the day and every hour at night. Your heart rate can be measured at the same time. These multiple readings are averaged over the 24-hour period. Changes in BP and heart rate, the BP distribution pattern and other statistics are calculated.
Guidelines for blood pressure management from many international medical organisations now strongly recommend confirming a diagnosis of hypertension with ambulatory BP monitoring.
Ambulatory BP monitoring provides additional information about how changes in your BP may correlate with your daily activities and sleep patterns. For most people systolic BP decreases about 10% to 20% during sleep. However, for some people BP might not drop during sleep. It may even rise.
Ambulatory BP monitoring can detect abnormal changes in BP that might go unnoticed when it’s only measured in the doctor’s office. It’s a useful way to detect white coat hypertension, masked hypertension, and sustained hypertension.
Some people who don’t take blood pressure-lowering drugs (antihypertensive drugs) have elevated readings when their BP is taken in a healthcare setting. This is known as “white coat hypertension.” White coat hypertension can result in misclassification of patients whose BP is actually normal. White coat hypertension has been seen in 10% to 30% of patients with elevated BP readings. Current guidelines don’t recommend treatment when ambulatory monitoring shows readings within the normal range outside the doctor’s office. However, ongoing research suggests this condition may still indicate a blood pressure problem, so you and your provider should keep an eye on it.
This condition occurs when your BP reading is normal at the doctor’s office, but elevated when you’re at home. It may occur in up to 20% of untreated people. This condition has similar risk to sustained hypertension and should be treated with antihypertensive medications.
This refers to BP readings that are elevated whether you’re in the doctor’s office or at home. This condition has been linked to an increased likelihood of heart and kidney damage.
Ambulatory monitoring can rule out white coat hypertension, so that people aren’t given unnecessary prescriptions for Blood Pressure lowering drugs. It can also detect masked hypertension, so that people receive the medications needed for high blood pressure. The incidence of stroke, heart disease and organ damage due to hypertension can be reduced among those patients. Ambulatory monitoring may also be useful in evaluating a patient’s response to long-acting antihypertensive medications.
BP readings are taken continually over a 24-hour period. Our healthcare team at Top Health Doctors will help you wear a device that is about the same size as a portable radio. The device is attached to a belt or strap worn on your body. It collects information throughout the 24-hour period that will later be transferred to a computer.
You’ll wear a BP cuff that is attached to the device around your upper arm. (The cuff can be worn under clothing, so it isn’t visible.) The cuff inflates at certain intervals throughout the day and night. You may be told to keep a diary to record your daily readings. This can help show how changes in your BP relate to periods of activity or rest.
After 24 hours, you can remove the device and BP cuff and return the equipment to our clinic at Top Health Doctors group. A computer analyses the readings and generates results.
You will be requested to pay a small deposit for the hire of the 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure machine which will be fully refunded when you return the machine. There may be small gap fee for this service.
There are certain Australian Medicare criteria that a patient needs to comply with. If a patient does not fit into the Medicare criteria or does not have access to Medicare, we can still arrange this service for you, but the fee may be different.
Based on the results of the 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitor, our doctors will have a detailed discussion with you and put in place a management plan tailored for you.
Reducing modifiable risk factors is the best way to prevent hypertension and associated diseases of the heart, brain, kidney and other organs. These factors include unhealthy diets (excessive salt consumption, a diet high in saturated fat and trans fats, low intake of fruits and vegetables), physical inactivity, smoking and alcohol, excessive mental stress and being overweight or obese.
There are times where modifying risk factors alone will not be enough to treat your blood pressure and we need to treat your hypertension with medications.
Would you liked to know more about this advanced blood pressure monitoring system? Get in touch with our friendly teams at your local Top Health Doctors Clinic
Beenleigh Marketplace, 114-118 George Street, Beenleigh QLD 4207
Cannon Hill Clinic
Shop 1 K Mart Plaza Cannon Hill, 1909 Creek Road, Cannon Hill Qld 4170
Cnr of Redland Bay & Mt Cotton Roads, Capalaba QLD 4157
The Village Coorparoo, 398 Cavendish Road, Coorparoo QLD 4151
Shop 10 and 11, Greenslopes Mall, 700 Logan Rd, Greenslopes QLD 4120
Unit 8-10, 2770 Logan Road, Underwood, QLD, 4119
West End Clinic
Suite 2, Healthcare Hub Floor 1, Montague Markets, 405 Montague Rd, West End Qld 4101
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