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Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring [ABPM]

What is ABPM ?

Your blood pressure fluctuates over 24 hours within an optimum range (grey band) as shown in the diagram, forming a unique blood pressure pattern . Generally blood pressure is at its lowest when you sleep but rises when you get up. It is also elevated when you are excited, nervous, or active. Still, for most of your waking hours, your blood pressure stays pretty much the same when you are sitting or standing still. That level should be lower than 120/80 [BHS-2000 recommendation]. When the level stays high, 140/90 or higher, you have high blood pressure. With high blood pressure, the heart works harder and your chances of a stroke, heart attack, and kidney problems are greater.

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Normal Blood Pressure

Therefore, it is important for you to have your blood pressure pattern profiled or tracked over 24 hours at regular intervals to have a better picture of these fluctuations. A single reading at home or at the clinic does not represent your BP over the 24 hours.

Fluctuations of your blood pressure are expected to follow the natural rhythm of your unique pattern. Do not be alarmed if your blood pressure measurements vary by say, 10 mmHg; this does not mean that the measurements are inaccurate or you have high blood pressure.

 ABPM is an evidence-based approach to the management of hypertension as it records your blood pressure fluctuations for 24 hours or longer.

 

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