If you’ve been prescribed a blood pressure based on a single high number at your doctor’s office, you may want to ask if I really need it. That blood pressure reading might be misleading, according to a group of government experts.
“But it was fine when I took it at home,” is what office nurses often hear as they unwrap (open; remove) the blood pressure cuff (see title picture) from a patient’s arm. “White-coat hypertension” is no myth (a myth is a wrong belief), says Mary Bauman, a physician at Family Care Central in Oklahoma City. “If you’re in traffic and you’re trying to get to the doctor’s office, if you run up the stairs, your blood pressure may be elevated,” Bauman says. “Everybody’s blood pressure goes up at certain times. It’s supposed to.”
High readings during checkups may not match (be the same as) home readings that turn out to be (latter we find that they are) fine. “No doctor wants to change people’s medication based on one reading in the office,” Bauman says. Masked hypertension, where blood pressure is always lower in the doctor’s office, is the opposite (as different as possible) effect that occurs for some patients, she says. Taking a second or third reading during the visit may help “somewhat,” she continues.
“What we’re really interested in — is your blood pressure elevated most of the time?” Bauman says. “That has chronic (long term) effect on your blood vessels, and it promotes atherosclerosis and increases your risk of heart attack and stroke.”
Three types of measurements — office-based, ambulatory and home monitoring — were compared in a newly updated review of studies commissioned by the USPSTF.
“What we found is that office-based measurements identified more hypertensive patients that were then not confirmed (proved to be true) by ambulatory monitoring,” says Maggie Piper, review author and a senior investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Oregon.
The findings (results)”were very different across studies,” Piper says. “They agreed (matched) better in the offices where more measurements were taken. When there was just one measurement, the agreement between the two measurements was not as good.”
“Next time you visit the doctor for a blood pressure check up, be careful what the doctor prescribes for you” is probably your recommendation to your friends. Support and Explain your idea in 20 lines (three paragraphs).
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