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Bluetooth Blood Pressure Monitors

Do you rely on your GP to measure your blood pressure?

Monitoring it yourself could be a good idea, too, according to research published this month.

A study from the University of Oxford found that patients who took their own blood pressure before getting checked by their GPs had a more accurate reading — probably because they no longer suffered with white coat syndrome, where results are affected because of an anxiety about seeing a doctor.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is defined as a reading consistently over 140/90. The top number, the systolic reading, is the pressure when your heart contracts; the second, the diastolic, is the pressure when your heart rests between beats.

High blood pressure means that every time the heart beats, the blood is flowing with greater force than normal, and this can weaken the artery walls and heart.

‘About a third of our population doesn’t know what their blood pressure is,’ says Dr Adrian Brady, a consultant cardiologist at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary and president of the British and Irish Hypertension Society (BIHS).

‘It’s a measurement that changes from moment to moment, but even having a snapshot of what it is can make someone aware they could have high blood pressure, which is by far the biggest cause of cardiovascular disease.’

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