Blood Pressure Monitoring
Hypertension is the most common cardiovascular disease in the world. It is defined as a sustained or persistent elevation of blood pressure. While the boundary between normal blood pressure and high blood pressure is subject to debate, most consider a blood pressure above 140/90 mmHg to be hypertensive. It is estimated that 25% of Canadians may be hypertensive. Of the individuals who have hypertension, approximately 90% of them will have no identifiable cause for the elevated blood pressure. This is known as Primary Hypertension and it is thought that genetic factors may play a role. The other 10% of individuals with hypertension have an identifiable cause such as renal disease, endocrine disorders or medication induced. This is known as secondary hypertension and can sometimes be cured if the underlying cause is treated.
Risk Factors for Hypertension:
- Family history of cardiovascular disease
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- High fat and high salt diets
- Metabolic syndromes such as obesity, dyslipidemia and diabetes
Complications of Hypertension:
No matter what the cause of hypertension is, a prolonged increase in blood pressure may result in many complications. Most individuals with hypertension have no symptoms until a complication occurs. These may include heart attack, stroke, congestive heart failure, retinal damage, and renal failure.
Treatment and Prevention:
- Stop smoking
- Weight loss
- Reducing salt intake
- Control alcohol intake (no more than 2 drinks per day to a maximum of 9 drinks per week for women and 14 drinks per week for men
- Regular exercise (30 minutes of activity on most days of the week)
- A diet rich in fruits and vegetables and low in saturated fat.
Your Physician may feel that it is necessary to initiate a medication to control your hypertension. If medication therapy is deemed necessary, there are a number of pharmacological options available. Factors taken into consideration by Pharmacists and Physicians when initiating drug therapy for hypertension include:
- The efficacy of the drug at lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease
- The efficacy of the drug at lowering blood pressure
- Frequency of dosing
- Side effects
Your Rx Ram Pharmacist will be happy to discuss with you the benefits of controlling your blood pressure and preventing complications. We use state of-the-art, evidence-based calculation tools to assess your risk of cardiovascular disease and work collaboratively with your Physician to ensure the best possible outcomes.