Clinical BP Measurement: You Could be Miss Diagnosed or Missed Diagnosis For Hypertension

doctor-measuring-blood-pressure

Are you being diagnosed of hypertension? If yes, then you could be missed diagnosed. A study related to blood pressure found that nearly 42% Indians are either wrongly diagnosed for BP and prescribed medicines or not diagnosed and living with hypertension without treatment.

Blood Pressure diagnosis

BP diagnosis is divided into two types depending on results – White Coat Hypertension and Masked Hypertension – and both types of diagnosis are wrong.

White Coat Hypertension: Around 24% Indians are suffering with this syndrome. It happens when BP is recorded high when measured at a doctor’s clinic.

Masked Hypertension: Around 18% Indians are affected with this syndrome. It is a situation where BP is found to be normal at a clinic but it is high when measured at home.

The results of the study indicate towards a poor clinical management of hypertension resulting in people taking medicines when they don’t need and those that need treatment are denied medical attention due to missed diagnosis.

What is the correct diagnosis for BP?

For correct diagnosis, a study was conducted on over 1000 persons. The first BP was measured at a clinic and the patients were asked to measure BP at home twice a day for seven days. They were given BP measuring tools.

The patients recorded their BP for seven days and visited the clinic for second clinical diagnosis on the eighth day. Data of each patient is analyzed for correct diagnosis. The data collected clearly divided the patients between White Coat hypertensives and Masked hypertensives.

The study revealed following facts

  1. First day data is always unreliable
  2. BP recorded in evening is always higher

According to Dr. Willem Verberk of Netherlands, BP values fluctuate constantly and fluctuating values give different results. An expert in BP measurement, Dr. Verberk advised that recording BP over a period of time like a week is more reliable.

Advice on mercury sphygmomanometer

Over 70% of doctors in India use mercury BP measuring tool despite knowing that that this device requires adjustments every six months for accurate reading. But only a few doctors actually calibrate their mercury sphygmomanometers.

The only silver lining in BP measurement is that digital devices called oscillometric devices are fast replacing the mercury-based BP reading tools. And the digital devices are more accurate.

If you are diagnosed to be hypertensive then you should ask for a thorough checkup to determine your actual medical condition and take medicines, if required.