1 What is Blood Pressure
2 What is a Normal Blood Pressure Reading
3 Importance of Home Blood Pressure Monitoring
4 How Often Should I Monitor My Blood Pressure
5 BHS/AAMI Validated Home Blood Pressure Monitors
What is Blood Pressure
In a the most basic sense, blood pressure is a way of measuring how much force is being exerted on the walls of your blood vessels (artery) as blood flows through them.
Systolic is the pressure exerted as your heart contracts or beats. This is measured as your heart sends a surge of blood through the vessels. A reading of less than120 mm Hg is considered normal.
Diastolic is the pressure exerted when your heart relaxes in between heartbeats in the arteries. A reading of less than 80 mm Hg is considered normal.
For adults, HIGH blood pressure is defined as a blood pressure greater than or equal to 140 mm Hg / 90 mm Hg.
What is a Normal Blood Pressure Reading
|Blood Pressure Category
||(mm Hg) |
||less than 120
||less than 80|
||160 or higher
||100 or higher|
|*Your doctor should evaluate unusually low readings.|
Importance of Home Blood Pressure Monitoring
Doctors, diabetes educators, physician assistants, nurses and other healthcare professionals recommend home blood pressure monitoring for various reasons, including the ability to provide them with better information to understand and manage your high blood pressure.
Many types of hypertension can only be detected by monitoring your blood pressure at home, including:
· White-coat Hypertension: blood pressure reading is high in doctor’s office but lower at home
· Masked Hypertension: blood pressure reading is low in doctor’s office but higher at home
· Morning Hypertension: blood pressure reading is higher in the morning
Additionally, many factors can affect your blood pressure, including physical exertion, emotional fluctuations, medications and stress, so having your blood pressure monitored at a Pharmacy with an in-store device after you have been shopping or walking around might not provide you with the most accurate measurement.
Monitoring your blood pressure at home allows you to more easily get to a relaxed state and the flexibility to take your measurements at various times during the day. By keeping track of your home blood pressure readings, you can provide your healthcare professional with a log of blood pressure measurements over time, which can help them evaluate the effectiveness or need for medication.
How Often Should I Monitor My Blood Pressure
Your blood pressure can vary throughout the day and be affected by activity, stress, medications and other factors. This is why you should consult with your healthcare professional to determine how often and when you should monitor your blood pressure.
BHS/AAMI Validated Home Blood Pressure Monitors
Home blood pressure monitors are tested for accuracy against 2 protocols, The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instruments (AAMI) and the International Protocol of the European Society of Hypertension.
In March, 2001, The British Medical Journal published the results of testing for home blood pressure monitors. Of the 23 devices that were validated, only 5 were recommended. All 5 are Omron products.
The chart below shows the clinically validated blood pressure monitors and the associated model numbers of the products sold in North and South America, updated through January 2005.
||North and South America Equivalent
||International, AAMI |
||International, AAMI |