RPM for Hypertension
How's your blood pressure?
How is your blood pressure? Like most adults, yours will change throughout the day based on your activities. But it’s important to understand what is normal and healthy for you. That way, you can recognize abnormalities, like high blood pressure, which can cause serious health problems.
As many as 1 in 3 adults with high blood pressure are not aware of the condition (hypertension); therefore, they are not monitoring the condition, being treated, or otherwise working toward achieving a healthier blood pressure.
A normal blood pressure is typically less than 120 over 80 millimeters of mercury; this is noted on a medical chart as 120/80 mm Hg, and it is better explained as systolic pressure over diastolic pressure. High blood pressure is typically defined as a systolic reading of 130 mm Hg (or higher) and/or diastolic readings of 80 mm Hg (or higher).
However, it’s important to consult with your physician to confer on, and regularly monitor, your blood pressure.
What Are Common Risk Factors for High Blood Pressure?
Hypertension can be caused by certain lifestyle choices, such as diet. But there are many other contributing factors, including genetics, age, race, and sex.
As we get older, our blood pressure tends to rise. Additionally, blood vessels can narrow or stiffen and become another risk factor. For younger individuals, a healthy lifestyle and diet will contribute to good blood pressure.
However, good lifestyle habits are important at every age. Specifically, in consideration of blood pressure risks, that might include decreasing sodium while improving potassium intake. Moderation of alcohol and caffeine with a steady balance of physical activity will contribute to overall heart health.
If high blood pressure runs in your family, it’s especially important to be vigilant and proactive. Certain genes have been linked to high blood pressure. However, certain individuals and families might have conditions adjacent to high blood pressure that should be monitored as well, such as sensitivity to salt.
Lastly, medications can affect your blood pressure, including SSRIs, NSAIDs, birth control, and even decongestants. If you have hypertension or are at risk of high blood pressure, pursuing treatment from someone with a complete understanding of your medical history, prescriptions, and over-the-counter medicines can be useful in getting complete care.
Who Is Likely to Have High Blood Pressure/Hypertension?
Sex and age are the two biggest determining factors when it comes to who is at risk for high blood pressure. In middle age, men are more at risk. However, women become more susceptible in their older years. This is especially true for women who suffered from high blood pressure during a pregnancy.
During pregnancy, African-American women are more likely than white women to develop preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a pregnancy disorder that causes sudden high blood pressure and problems with the kidneys and liver. Additionally, African-American and Hispanic adults are more susceptible to high blood pressure than in white or Asian adults. Experiencing discrimination has been tied to high blood pressure. In addition, some high blood pressure medicines may not work as well in African-Americans. This makes race another major factor in determining risk.
Other contributing factors might include where you live, your income level, education, and career. This might be due to stress, strain, and other influences.
Those with preexisting or coexisting medical conditions will also experience greater risk. And high blood pressure can be due to, or further exacerbated by, medical conditions like obesity, chronic kidney disease, sleep apnea, thyroid disease, metabolic issues, or tumors (benign or malignant).
What Can Be Done to Prevent or Treat High Blood Pressure?
Heart disease is the No. 1 killer in the United States. This means that it is more important than ever to understand, diagnose, monitor, and treat high blood pressure and hypertension.
Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) can help predict and prevent cardiac events that may be related to high blood pressure or hypertension. Rather than wait for annual physicals, physicians receive critical blood pressure readouts, and other vital signs, outside of traditional healthcare visits and settings.
RPM is a powerful ally in the fight against heart disease because it encourages patient adherence, streamlines clinical trial tracking, and supports pre-/post-op monitoring.
Today’s RPM systems provide advanced cardiovascular disease management via holistic monitoring that allows physicians to provide timely interventions and reduce the risk of acute episodes.
The American Heart Association (AHA) supports the use of RPM technology for cardiovascular disease, noting: “RPM may serve as a vital conduit for improving hypertension control and reducing the economic burden that stems from the costly hospital stays that result from acute events related to hypertension. Research has shown RPM can reduce systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure significantly, compared to usual care and self-monitoring alone.”