Jan 19, 2019 | Updated: 08:24 AM EST

Difference in blood pressure reading could indicate heart problems

Aug 14, 2015 12:57 AM EDT


Differences in blood pressure readings from one doctor to another could mean cardiovascular problem and even death, a new study revealed, New York Times reports.

The study, published online July 27 in Annals of Internal Medicine, required the researchers to gather and analyze data almost 26,000 people. Their blood pressures were checked from five to seven visits done between six to 28 months after the study started.

The researchers found that participants in the highest one-fifth were 30 percent at risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases or suffer from heart attack. They were also at risk of stroke by 46 percent and heart failure by 25 percent. They are also at risk of dying from any cause by 58 percent. The participants were limited by age, sex, race, smoking, diabetes and other factors.

The study only looked into the link of blood pressure reading and cardiovascular problems but did not detail any cause-and-effect factor.

"We usually use average blood pressure as a measure, because reducing that has led to reduced risk. The fluctuations get dismissed," Paul Muntner, the study's lead researcher and a professor of epidemiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said.

Furthermore, he quipped that the difference in blood pressure seems to strongly affect the risk factor for cardiovascular disease, one thing that doctors should pay close attention to, Muntner points out.

According to Health Day, high blood pressure places individuals at risk of heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure and early death, Dr. Gregg Fonarow, a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, explained. That is why he advised hypertensive individuals to maintain "their blood pressure in the goal range by consistently taking their medications and adhering to heart- and blood pressure healthy diet and exercise."

Ideally, blood pressure should not be above 140 mm Hg systolic and 90 mm Hg diastolic. To keep the blood pressure normal, medication, active lifestyle, and proper diet are advised to patients.

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