New Zealand’s Silent Killer

January 13, 2020

Most people over the age of 70 suffer from high blood pressure. Many aren’t aware so don’t take steps to control it. This can significantly increase their chance of early death.

Persistent high blood pressure is called “hypertension”. It is commonly referred to as the “silent killer” because, in many cases, the first noticeable symptom is a stroke or a heart attack.

If you suffer from hypertension it is important you do everything you can to manage your blood pressure. Here are 3 things that have been proven to help.

  1. Measure your blood pressure at home regularly, record the results and show them to a health professional.
  2. If you are prescribed medication then take it every day as prescribed and ask questions of your pharmacist if you don’t understand anything.
  3. Strive to achieve a healthier lifestyle.

Take Care

If your loved ones, or the people you look after suffer from hypertension, you should take care to ensure their blood pressure is recorded on a regular basis and the information is shared with a health professional.

Regular home monitoring is needed to gauge the effect of medicine and make adjustments where necessary. Regular measurement can also encourage lifestyle changes and motivate people to maintain new habits.

Don't Take Our Word For It

Doctors in NZ and around the world recommend home blood pressure monitoring. The American Heart Association (AHA), American Society of Hypertension, and Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association all urge individuals with high blood pressure, or at high risk for developing it, to become blood pressure “do-it-yourselfers”. This extract from Harvard Medical School reinforces the point.

Improve your control. People who check their blood pressure at home tend to be more successful at keeping it under control. Timely feedback helps. Instead of a getting a blood-pressure reading once every few months under unusual conditions (in a doctor’s office), you can get a reading every week or so at home. Taking the measurements yourself also helps. People who actively participate in their care generally do better than those who take a hands-off, let-the-doctor-do-it approach.

Track your progress. You can’t feel your blood pressure get better — or worse. Measuring it at home offers vital information about whether your lifestyle changes and the medications you are taking are having their desired effects.

Save time and medications. Monitoring your blood pressure at home may mean fewer trips to the doctor’s office. If you have white-coat hypertension, it may also mean taking fewer, or no, blood pressure medicines.

– Harvard Medical School – April 30 2018

Spritely Can Help

Spritely’s health vitals module includes a one-touch, wireless blood pressure monitor that records your reading on an age-friendly, interactive screen. Your readings can be viewed by a health professional each month, you can easily track your own progress and (if needed) connect with a pharmacist at the touch of a button. The Spritely system is designed to help residents improve blood pressure control and manage hypertension.