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Highjacked by fear of the doctor's office? What it may say about your high blood pressure Edmonton AB

Hypertension or high blood pressure affects one in four Canadians, and more than one billion people worldwide. It is suggested that Canadians monitor ...

Scotiabank
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BMO Bank of Montreal
104Th Avenue
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RBC - Main Br - Edmonton
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BMO Bank of Montreal
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Edmonton, AB
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Highjacked by fear of the doctor's office? What it may say about your high blood pressure

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Photo courtesy of metrocreativegraphics.com

(NC)-Hypertension or high blood pressure affects one in four Canadians, and more than one billion people worldwide. It is suggested that Canadians monitor their blood pressure regularly, as hypertension can lead to a variety of complications including heart attack, stroke, and heart and kidney failure.

But, how accurate is a blood pressure reading?

Some people have high blood pressure when they visit a doctor's office, but have normal blood pressure otherwise. This phenomenon, referred to as "white coat hypertension," is believed to be a result of anxiety or apprehension felt at the doctor's office.

Other people see the opposite trend - normal blood pressure in a doctor's office, but high blood pressure elsewhere.

On May 17th, World Hypertension Day, Canadians are urged to "Measure Your Blood Pressure at Home", which is the theme for this year's campaign. When blood pressure is measured at home, it helps to understand how to control blood pressure on a daily basis along with one's healthcare provider. It also shows how lifestyle changes and medication help to control blood pressure.

In honor of World Hypertension Day, Canadians are urged to measure their blood pressure at home, to track day-to-day changes, recognize variations and understand the factors that influence blood pressure readings. A doctor can help select the at-home monitor that is right for you.

Types of Home Monitors and Accessories

Cuff : The blood pressure cuff has an inflatable inner layer that fills with air and squeezes the arm. The cuff's outer layer is usually made of nylon, and has a fastener to hold the cuff in place. The cuff is attached to a mercury manometer, which gives a mm Hg reading.

Gauge: Blood pressure monitors are either digital or aneroid. The aneroid monitors have a gauge with a dial on it that points at a number related to your blood pressure.

Stethoscope: Used with a blood pressure monitor, a stethoscope can be used to listen to the sounds your blood makes as it flows through the brachial artery. Because it can be difficult to interpret these sounds, digital blood pressure cuffs can be used to record the information for you.

Manual devices: Manual blood pressure monitors consist of a stethoscope and an inflatable arm cuff connected by a rubber tube to a gauge that records the pressure. To measure blood pressure, you manually inflate the cuff that goes around your arm by pumping a bulb at one end of the tube. You also manually check your blood pressure with a stethoscope, while listening to the sound of your blood through the arteries and counting your own heart rate. Manual monitors are usually less expensive than digital monitors.

Digital devices: Digital monitors consist of a cuff and a gauge that records the pressure. The cuff automatically inflates, and records heart rate and blood pressure. Advanced devices will alert you if you are using the cuff improperly. Digital monitors can be fitted on the upper arm, wrist or finger. Arm devices are most accurate. Avoid measuring blood pressure in your finger. Wrist blood pressure devices are more accurate than finger devices, but not recommended for precise readings.

For more information on World Hypertension Day and this year's theme of "Measure Your Blood Pressure at Home", please visit: www.worldhypertensionleague.org or www.hypertension.ca

Credit: www.newscanada.com