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In todays Examiner, some startling facts about the silent killer, High Blood Pressure and how early action using our 24 hr blood pressure monitoring service could save your life.

Posted by Eamonn Brady on

High Blood Pressure is a silent killer

How 24 Hour Blood Pressure Monitoring could save your life


Did you know that every hour, a man, woman or child dies from heart disease and stroke in Ireland? High blood pressure is one of the most important preventable causes of premature ill health and death in the Ireland. It is a major risk factor for stroke, heart attack, heart failure, chronic kidney disease and cognitive decline (dementia).


If you have been diagnosed or suspected of having high blood pressure, a 24 hour blood pressure monitor is the most reliable tool to check the accuracy of the diagnosis and in many cases prevent you having to take blood pressure medication due to the high error rate of once off blood pressure checks. Whelehans Pharmacy Pearse St offer a 24-hour blood pressure monitoring service where you are fitted with a 24-hour monitor in the morning and retain the next day to get your results. If you are unsure about your blood pressure level, you can book the service by calling 04493 34591.


Blood pressure-the silent killer

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide, with two-thirds of cerebrovascular disease (e.g. Stroke) and half of ischaemic heart disease (e.g. Angina) being attributable to high blood pressure.  In Ireland in 2000, CVD was the number one cause of death and was responsible for 41% of all deaths. High BP affects up to 50% of middle-aged and older people. High BP has no symptoms so routine checks are essential, especially on those over 50.

Trials have shown that achieving a target blood pressure of 140/90 achieves a 42% reduction in stroke, a 14% reduction in coronary events such as myocardial infarction (heart attack) and a 21% reduction in cardiovascular deaths. There is evidence that high BP can predispose individuals to the development of cognitive impairment and dementia in later life.

High blood pressure is often called the silent killer with many people not realising they have it until it is too late, for example after they have suffered a stroke or heart attack.


Ideal Blood Pressure level

All adults should have their blood pressure measured routinely every 5 years. According to the 2003 European Society of Hypertension classification of blood pressure values, optimal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mmHG. A reading of 130/85 mmHG is classified as normal. A reading of greater the 140/90 mmHG is considered high while a reading of greater than 180/110 is classified as severe hypertension. Patients with severe hypertension should be referred to a cardiac consultant as cardiovascular risk is high. An adult with a reading of above 140/90 mmHG should return to their GP annually if treatment is not recommended initially.


Why get a 24 hour blood pressure check?

A 24 hour blood pressure monitor provides a more accurate measure of blood pressure than a single measurement. It shows how your blood pressure changes throughout the day and more importantly at night. It helps your doctor and pharmacist ensure your blood pressure is under control. If you are already taking blood pressure medication, our 24 blood pressure monitor will show if you are getting the full benefit of the blood pressure medication you must take.


Internationally recognised best practice for diagnosis of high Blood Pressure

The respected health advisory body, the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) in the UK recommends that a diagnosis of primary hypertension (high blood pressure) should be confirmed using 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM), rather than be based solely on measurements of blood pressure taken in the clinic. The recommendation draws on substantial new evidence, including that published in the Lancet (Journal of Medicine) in August 2012, recommending that ABPM 24 Hour monitoring is more accurate than both clinic and home monitoring in defining the presence of hypertension. NICE recommends that patients should not be diagnosed with high blood pressure or prescribed blood pressure medication until this 24 hour monitor is performed. This is now common practice in the UK.



White Coat Syndrome

“White coat Syndrome” or “White coat Hypertension” is a phenomenon in which patients exhibit high blood pressure in a clinical or medical setting but not in other settings. It is believed that this is due to the anxiety some people experience during a clinic or medical type visit. It is recognised that up to 30% of people suffer from this phenomenon leading to misdiagnosis of high blood pressure in some cases. To prevent this problem, 24 hour ABPM blood pressure monitoring is seen as the most accurate tool to check and diagnose high blood pressure


Where to get a 24 blood pressure monitor fitted

Most GP surgeries offer the 24 hour blood pressure monitoring service. Whelehans Pharmacy in Mullingar can now fit you with a 24 hour blood pressure based on ABPM technology which you can now wear while undertaking normal daily activities. You can book the service by calling 04493 34591.


A 24 hour blood pressure monitor could save your life

Contact Whelehans Pharmacy today to arrange getting your 24 hour blood pressure checked, it could save your life. Whelehans 24 hour Blood Pressure service costs €60. We simply fit the monitor in the morning, you wear it for 24 hours and when you come back the next morning we will have your results which you can bring to your GP.


For comprehensive and free health advice and information call in to Whelehans, log on to or dial 04493 34591 (Pearse St) or 04493 10266 (Clonmore).

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