What is the best position to monitor blood pressure?

Credit: Unsplash+.

Blood pressure is a key sign of heart health, usually checked while you sit relaxed in a doctor’s office.

But new research is challenging this norm, suggesting that this alone might not fully reveal your heart health risks.

A groundbreaking study, presented at the American Heart Association’s Hypertension Scientific Sessions 2023, has revealed that high blood pressure while lying flat could also indicate significant heart health dangers.

This finding adds a complex layer to our understanding of how blood pressure works and its impact on heart health.

The study was led by Duc M. Giao, a dedicated medical student from Harvard Medical School, along with his team. They looked into the health records of over 11,000 adults from a study conducted between 1987 and 1989.

These adults had their blood pressure measured while lying down, and their health outcomes were tracked for nearly 30 years. Surprisingly, 16% of them showed high blood pressure in the lying position even though their seated readings were normal.

The results from this study are quite significant. People with high blood pressure, no matter their position—whether sitting or lying—had a higher chance of heart problems such as coronary heart disease, heart failure, and stroke. They were also at an increased risk of dying prematurely.

Interestingly, even those who only had high blood pressure while lying down faced similar risks. This suggests that checking blood pressure in different positions, including lying down, might be crucial for identifying people at risk of cardiovascular issues.

Giao advises that people at higher risk of heart diseases or strokes should have their blood pressure tested in various positions, including while lying down.

This could provide a clearer picture of their heart health and help in managing blood pressure better throughout different activities and even during sleep.

The focus of the study on middle-aged adults highlights the importance of reconsidering how blood pressure is monitored in this age group.

Although more research is needed to see if these findings apply to older people as well, the current study underlines the need for a broader approach in measuring blood pressure.

The research questions the traditional methods of assessing blood pressure and promotes including measurements taken while lying down in routine health checks.

Such changes could greatly improve our ability to spot and treat heart health risks early, potentially saving lives with just a simple update to how we monitor blood pressure.

If you care about high blood pressure, please read studies that early time-restricted eating could help improve blood pressure, and natural coconut sugar could help reduce blood pressure and artery stiffness.

For more information about blood pressure, please see recent studies about added sugar in your diet linked to higher blood pressure, and results showing vitamin D could improve blood pressure in people with diabetes.

Copyright © 2024 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.