New research on the surface gives enough evidence to highlight the concern over the dramatic increase in high blood pressure among adults in the US. According to the CDC, high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, affects nearly half of the US population. However, only one in four has it in their control.
The report of the virtual meeting appears in the American Heart Association’s Hypertension Scientific Sessions 2020. The findings are still yet to be peer-reviewed and published.
A Significant Drop in Controlling High Blood Pressure
As per the data, there was an increase in the number of people managing high blood pressure in 2014. The data later plunged by 6% between 2015 and 2016.
The percentage in the US for uncontrolled high blood pressure further dropped by 11% from 2013 to 2018. The report also showed a significant decrease (10%) in management among adults of 40s and 50s from 2009 to 2018.
Dr. Guy L. Mintz, executive of cardiovascular health and lipidology at Northwell Health’s Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital in New York, calls the study an alarming sign for the physicians to take further steps. Health specialists are not showing enough effort to diagnose and treat the condition.
The Need for Ambulatory BP Monitors
Where patients assert the need for a more accurate method to check the BP, there is more than one way to do so. However, not many people know about it.
A most common practice by physicians to measure BP is by using a stethoscope. Ambulatory monitoring is a new and unique technique to have BP readings of the 24 hour period. In terms of accuracy, it beats the conventional method of measuring BP.
Mitz highlights that the greatest challenge to normalize the use of ambulatory blood pressure monitors is to deal with the stubbornness of several physicians who still wants to use the old traditional way of measuring BP.
Many of them hesitate to use it for their low insurance and high-cost value. On average, an ambulatory blood pressure monitor costs from $1,500 to $3,000. However, with time the insurance policy for it is showing improvement.
Understanding Blood Pressure Categories
Dr. Brent M. Egan, a lead author, and a professor at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine and the American Medical Association’s vice president of cardiovascular disease prevention, describes hypertension as a long-term process and not a single episode event.
Egan recommends people to at least measure BP once a year. People should develop an understanding of the four categories of blood pressure: normal BP, high blood pressure, hypertension stage I, and hypertension stage II.
After knowing about the category, the person has to start taking medications and adopt a healthy lifestyle. Home monitoring and recording the values are also beneficial to control hypertension. Apart from doctors and medications, families can also help by morning walks and preparing healthy meals.
AMA and AHA Partnering on Target:BP Program
Egan also talks about the partnership of the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Medical Association (AMA) on the national level to deal with the high BP rate. They have launched the program named Target:BP to control the cardiovascular risk.
He advises health specialists to make use of programs like the AMA MAP BP program to look over patients better. This program is all about making accurate measurements, quick action, and close bonding with the patient.
It is vital to understand the critics of continuous high blood pressure and take action over it. Mintz recalls hypertension as a silent killer for stroke, cardiovascular diseases, and kidney disease.