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Ambulatory BP Monitoring in the Philippines

Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) is a non-invasive method that measures blood pressure at regular intervals over 24 hours while patients go about their daily activities, including sleep. Using a portable device on the arm, it records readings every 15 to 30 minutes, offering a comprehensive view of blood pressure fluctuations.


Traditional monitoring in clinical settings with a sphygmomanometer may miss such variations and be affected by white coat hypertension or masked hypertension. ABPM overcomes these limitations by providing a complete picture of blood pressure throughout the day and night.


ambulatory BP monitoring

How Common Is Hypertension in the Philippines?


Hypertension is a significant public health issue in the Philippines, and it is on the rise. According to data from various studies and reports, the prevalence of hypertension among Filipino adults has shown a steady increase. In 1993, the prevalence was 22%, which rose to 25.15% by 2013. More recent figures indicate a further increase, with the prevalence reaching 37% in 2021.


This escalating trend underscores an urgent need for effective hypertension management and intervention strategies. The 2020 report by the Philippine Society for Hypertension highlights the importance of addressing this growing health concern. Additionally, awareness, treatment, and control rates remain suboptimal. A study published in 2024 noted that while there is high awareness among older adults, effective treatment and control still need to be improved.


Why Might One Need to Undergo ABPM?


Ambulatory BP monitoring is essential for accurately diagnosing and managing hypertension. Here are the top reasons why one may need to undergo ABPM:


  • Accurately Measure Your Blood Pressure: ABPM provides continuous blood pressure readings over 24 hours, capturing daily and night fluctuations. This comprehensive data offers a more accurate representation of an individual's blood pressure than single-point measurements taken in a clinical setting.

  • Rule Out White Coat Syndrome: White coat syndrome occurs when patients experience elevated blood pressure in a clinical environment due to anxiety. ABPM measures blood pressure in a natural, relaxed setting, helping to determine if high readings are solely attributable to this phenomenon and preventing unnecessary treatment.

  • Detect Masked Hypertension: Masked hypertension is when blood pressure reads normal in a clinical setting but is elevated outside of it. ABPM's round-the-clock monitoring can identify these hidden high blood pressure patterns, ensuring patients receive appropriate diagnosis and treatment to manage their condition effectively.

Ambulatory BP monitoring

How to Prepare for Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring?


Preparing for ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) involves several steps to ensure accurate and reliable readings. Here are some key preparations to keep in mind:


  • Wear Comfortable Clothing: Choose loose-fitting clothes, especially around the upper arm where the blood pressure cuff will be placed. This allows the device to function properly without being constricted.

  • Avoid Heavy Physical Activity: While you should go about your normal daily activities, avoiding strenuous exercise or heavy lifting during the monitoring period is best. Intense physical activity can affect blood pressure readings.

  • Follow Medication Instructions: Continue taking your prescribed medications unless otherwise directed by your healthcare provider. Inform your doctor of any medications you are taking, as they may need to adjust the timing or dosage for the monitoring period.

  • Maintain Your Usual Routine: Stick to your daily routine, including work, meals, and sleep patterns. The goal is to capture your typical blood pressure fluctuations throughout the day and night. However, if your usual routine involves strenuous physical activities such as intense manual labor, refrain from performing them during the 24-hour period.


  • Limit Caffeine and Alcohol Intake: Reduce or avoid caffeine and alcohol consumption during the monitoring period, as these substances can impact blood pressure readings.

  • Keep a Diary: Some healthcare providers may ask you to keep a diary of your activities, meals, and any symptoms you experience during the 24-hour monitoring period. This information can help interpret the ABPM results accurately.

  • Stay Relaxed During Measurements: When you feel the cuff inflating, stay still and relaxed. Avoid talking or moving, as this can interfere with the accuracy of the measurements.


How Is ABPM Conducted?


Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) involves specific steps to ensure accurate readings over 24 hours. It starts with a visit to the healthcare provider, where a portable monitor is fitted to your upper arm. This device comprises a cuff and a small recording unit worn on a belt or shoulder strap. The healthcare provider will explain the device's operation and provide instructions for the monitoring period, demonstrating the cuff inflation and expected sensations.


Before leaving, the device will be calibrated, and a few test measurements will be taken to ensure it works correctly and help you get used to it. For the next 24 hours, you will wear the ABPM device continuously. The cuff inflates automatically, taking readings every 15-30 minutes daily and every 30-60 minutes at night. You may need to keep a diary of your activities, meals, sleep times, and any symptoms or unusual events. This helps correlate the readings with your daily activities.


Summary


ABPM is a non-invasive method for monitoring blood pressure levels over 24 hours. It is more reliable than conventional blood pressure measurement methods, as it takes readings at regular intervals during daily activities and sleep. To ensure accurate results, it is essential to follow the recommended guidelines, such as avoiding caffeine and alcohol and staying relaxed during measurements.


To ensure you receive the most accurate and reliable ABPM, choose Hi-Precision Diagnostics. Schedule your appointment today to take the next step in managing your blood pressure effectively. To learn more, you may call us at 8741 7777 or email our team at info@hi-precision.com.ph.


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