Why Your Blood Pressure Matters

By Merle Myerson, MD, EdD, FACC Director, St. Luke’s and Roosevelt Hospitals Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Program Pre-Exercise Heart Screening Program Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine and Epidemiology Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons

Posted on | By Merle Myerson, MD, EdD, FACC | Comments ()

Monitoring Your Blood Pressure at Home

Research shows home blood pressure monitoring can be vital to reducing a patient’s risk of stroke, heart attack, heart failure or kidney failure. In fact, internationally recognized organizations, such as The American Heart Association, recommend any patient with or at risk of hypertension should purchase a clinically validated home blood pressure monitor and regularly monitor their blood pressure at home. 

More than 50% of people with high blood pressure who monitor at home show an improvement in medication compliance and are quicker to take action.

What Causes High Blood Pressure?

 

Many factors can contribute to developing high blood pressure. Some can be controlled, such as weight, eating too much salt, drinking too much alcohol, and lack of physical exercise. The exact role of stress is unclear but is felt to be a factor as well.

Those factors that cannot be controlled are heredity (the genetic predisposition to having high blood pressure), older age and race. In this country, African-Americans are at higher risk for hypertension. There are secondary causes of hypertension such as endocrine problems that are much less common but are often considered in a young person or a person with very hard to control blood pressure. 

How Is Hypertension Treated?


Lifestyle Modification

Changes in a person’s lifestyle can significantly lower blood pressure. Some people can lower pressure enough to where they do not need medications while with others the changes can reduce the amount of medications needed.  

Merle Myerson, MD, EdD, FACC

Article written by Merle Myerson, MD, EdD, FACC
Director, St. Luke’s and Roosevelt Hospitals Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Program Pre-Exercise Heart Screening Program Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine and Epidemiology Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons