Reporter s Guide Blood Pressure Monitoring Microlife USA, Inc.

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1 Reporter s Guide Blood Pressure Monitoring Microlife USA, Inc. REPORTER S GUIDE Microlife USA, Inc. 424 Skinner Blvd. Suite C Dunedin, FL Phone:

2 Table of Contents Chapter 1 Media Contact - page 3 Chapter 2 About Microlife - page 4 Chapter 3 Blood Pressure -What is it and why should it be measured? - page 5 Chapter 4 National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute Clinical Guidelines - page 6 Chapter 5 Should blood pressure be measured at home? - page 7-8 Chapter 6 Causes and Risks of High Blood Pressure - page 9 Chapter 7 Lifestyle Changes can help prevent and control high blood pressure - page 10 Chapter 8 How high blood pressure can affect you - page Chapter 9 How to use a blood pressure monitor - page 13 2

3 1 Chapter 1 Media Contact Thank you for your interest in blood pressure monitoring. This reporter s guide is intended to help you in preparing accurate stories on blood pressure measurement and blood pressure monitoring. We have included third party information on blood pressure and hypertension from such sources as the National Institutes of Health, The American Heart Association and the International Society of Hypertension. As you review these materials and the information on Microlife s monitors, please feel free to contact us at any time. Also, if you would like to interview Microlife s experts or third party experts on blood pressure and blood pressure related items, please contact us. Teresa Barnes Or Scot Dube Microlife Main number: Microlife Customer Service: Address: Microlife USA, Inc. 424 Skinner Blvd., Suite C Dunedin, FL USA 3

4 Chapter 2 About Microlife Microlife is a global company and the world leader in the development and manufacturing of medical diagnostic equipment for home and institutional use. Blood pressure monitors, digital thermometers and peak flow meters are Microlife's core business. Microlife is a vertically integrated manufacturing company with a worldwide sales and distribution network. Microlife exports over 35 million units each year from their factory in Shenzhen, China to all parts of the world. Each unit utilizes leading edge technology for monitoring key health indicators. The Microlife family consists of more than 2400 dedicated employees worldwide and is committed to continued research and development in medical devices that enable people to responsibly manage their own health. Where Do I Find Microlife Blood Pressure Monitors? All CVS Pharmacy stores sell CVS and Microlife co-branded blood pressure monitors. Both of the CVS co branded units have advanced features and the highest accuracy rating. The CVS and Microlife co-branded upper arm unit (A) has the unique feature of MAM (Microlife Average Mode). This feature takes three consecutive measurements then averages the result providing a more accurate measurement. The wrist unit (B) has MAM and a Blood Pressure Analyzing software program with a USB port to download the results to your PC and print out to take to your doctor. A B Longs and Raley s pharmacies also sell Microlife brand blood pressure monitors. To identify other channels of distribution contact Microlife USA at or visit the website 4

5 2 Chapter 3 Blood Pressure What is it and why should it be measured? According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), more than 65 million American adults 1 in 3 have high blood pressure and most Americans, as they age, will develop it. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report that among people with high blood pressure, 28 million don't even know they have it. In the last 10 years there was a 30% increase in the number of Americans with high blood pressure. This is according to a survey of Americans called the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey along with U.S. Census data. The survey found 28.7% of women and 28.3% of men are hypertensive. Blood pressure is defined as the force of blood against the walls of arteries. During the course of the day, blood pressure will rise and fall. If blood pressure stays elevated over a period of time, it is known as high blood pressure. Having high blood pressure is dangerous to the individual. It forces the heart to work harder and promotes atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). High blood pressure also increases the risk of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and stroke and may result in other medical conditions such as congestive heart failure. Blood pressure is measured by millimeters of mercury, mm Hg, and two numbers are used in measuring it: systolic and diastolic. Systolic is the top number in a measurement and diastolic is the bottom measurement. For example, in the measurement 120/80, 120 = systolic and 80 = diastolic measurement. Systolic pressure (the first and highest number) is the pressure the heart places on the walls of the blood vessels during each heartbeat. Diastolic pressure (the second and lowest number) is the pressure the blood places on the walls of the blood vessels between heartbeats. According to the CDC, optimal blood pressure is a systolic blood pressure less than 120 and a diastolic blood pressure less than 80. Both of these measurements are important. A high systolic pressure indicates a strain on the blood vessels while the heart is pumping blood into the bloodstream. A high diastolic pressure means that the blood vessels are not relaxing enough between heartbeats. High blood pressure for adults is defined as a systolic pressure of 140 mmhg or higher, or a diastolic pressure of 90 mmhg or higher (CDC). 5

6 Chapter 4 National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute Clinical Guidelines In May 2003, NHLBI released new clinical practice guidelines for the prevention, detection, and treatment of high blood pressure and included a new pre-hypertension level which effects about 22 percent of American adults or about 45 million people. New classification (2003) Previous classification (1997) 140/90 or above High High 140/90 or above Borderline / / Prehypertension Normal 129/84 or below 119/79 or below Normal Optimal 120/80 or below Source: NHLBI Since 1997, much more has been learned about the risk of high blood pressure and the course of the disease, said NHLBI Director Dr. Claude Lenfant. Americans lifetime risk of developing hypertension is much greater than we d thought. For instance, those who do not have hypertension at age 55 have a 90 percent risk of going on to develop the condition. We also now know that damage to arteries begins at fairly low blood pressure levels those formerly considered normal and optimal, he continued. In fact, studies show that the risk of death from heart disease and stroke begins to rise at blood pressures as low as 115 over 75, and that it doubles for each 20 over 10 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) increase. So the harm starts long before people get treatment. Unless prevention steps are taken, stiffness and other damage to arteries worsen with age and make high blood pressure more and more difficult to treat. The new pre-hypertension category reflects this risk and, we hope, will prompt people to take preventive action early. 6

7 Chapter 5 Should blood pressure be measured at home? Yes. According to the International Society of Hypertension (ISH) Statement on Blood Pressure Lowering and Stroke Prevention, Adequate control of systolic blood pressure is more difficult than diastolic blood pressure, particularly among the elderly. However, control of systolic and diastolic blood pressure was more frequently reported when either home measurement or 24-h (hour) average ambulatory measurement was used rather than office blood pressure measurements. Medical experts agree that monitoring your blood pressure at home can be helpful in preventing and controlling high blood pressure. In fact, new research suggests that it may be a more accurate measurement of your blood pressure than the one you get in your doctor s office. It s because of something called white coat syndrome. Many people experience a rise in blood pressure when they are in their doctor s office. This white coat syndrome can cause a higher than normal blood pressure reading and can be misleading. By monitoring your blood pressure at home, you can help your doctor to treat your hypertension using the most accurate measurement information. You can also better control your blood pressure by watching for any unusual fluctuation in your blood pressure which could signal a problem with your health or your medications. High blood pressure is often described as the silent killer because it often has no symptoms. So, knowing your baseline blood pressure is a critical key to successful health management. An increase in blood pressure could be the clue to early detection of high blood pressure related diseases and conditions. By monitoring your blood pressure at home, you can alert a health professional if there should be a change or sudden increase. Monitoring at home is simpler and more convenient than ever with the latest technology. You can monitor at home with new easy-to-use blood pressure monitors that are as accurate as the one your doctor uses. You can choose from upper arm blood pressure monitors or wrist-type monitors. There are blood pressure monitors that make measurements automatically or that you manually inflate the blood pressure cuff yourself. You can choose from blood pressure monitors that make three consecutive measurements. This gives you the most accurate measurement each and every time. There are also blood pressure monitors that allow you to record each blood pressure measurement and easily 7

8 keep track of them for your next visit to your doctor. You can even fax or your blood pressure measurements using simple-to-use technology. Simplicity, accuracy and reliability are three critical considerations for choosing a blood pressure monitor. You may also want to ask your doctor or pharmacist for the best monitor for you. 8

9 Chapter 6 Causes and Risks of High Blood Pressure A narrowing of the arteries, an increase in the volume of blood, or the heart beating faster or more forcefully than it should, will cause increased pressure against the artery walls ultimately leading to high blood pressure. High blood pressure might also be caused by another medical problem, but most of the time, the cause is unknown. Although high blood pressure can be a chronic condition and usually cannot be cured, in most cases, it can be prevented and controlled with lifestyle changes and appropriate medications. Who is at Risk? According to the NHLBI, Middle-aged Americans face a 90% chance of developing high blood pressure during their lives. Others at risk for developing high blood pressure are the overweight, those with a family history of high blood pressure, and those with pre-hypertension ( /80 89 mmhg). High blood pressure is also more common among African Americans than Caucasians and tends to develop earlier in life and have more severe cases. Blacks suffer from heart and kidney disease at alarmingly high rates, says Founder of International Society on Hypertension in Blacks and University of Maryland Medical Center cardiologist, Elijah Saunders, M.D., both of which are adversely affected by high blood pressure. The American Heart Association reports that high blood pressure affects about 4 of every 10 African Americans, 3 in 10 of all other Americans. The bottom line is that Americans must change how they think about blood pressure, said National High Blood Pressure Education Program Coordinator Dr. Ed Roccella. The sooner they take action, the better. It s vital that they adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle early, even if their blood pressure is normal. 9

10 Chapter 7 Lifestyle changes can help prevent and control high blood pressure Increase physical activity (walking 30 minutes per day can help) Lose weight if you re overweight (even losing 10 pounds can help) Follow a healthy eating plan Prepare foods with less salt and sodium Consume low fat dairy foods Limit alcohol and caffeine intake Quit smoking If lifestyle changes are not effective in keeping blood pressure controlled, there are many blood pressure medications to help you. Medications can include angiotensin receptor blockers, angiotensin converting enzyme Inhibitors, beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, and diuretics. 10

11 Chapter 8 How High Blood Pressure Can Affect You Only two out of three people who have high blood pressure know that they do, according to experts, and only one in three has the condition under control, according to the American Heart Association. Pregnancy Many women develop hypertension during pregnancy or pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH). Hypertension during pregnancy can cause serious problems for mother and baby. These serious problems can be prevented with proper prenatal care. High blood pressure can lead to preeclampsia. The Preeclampsia Foundation continues to encourage its women to know their baseline blood pressure and to be aware of significant changes and to make any concerns about those changes known to their health care provider. Hypertension - High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and the chief risk factor for stroke and heart failure, and also can lead to kidney damage Obesity Obesity causes an increased risk for high blood pressure. Body mass index (BMI) is the measure of body fat based on height and weight. BMI is calculated by weight (kilograms) divided by height (meters) squared. A healthy BMI, according to the CDC, is Cholesterol - Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the largest killer of Americans, accounting for more than 960,000 deaths each year. A high blood cholesterol level is a major risk factor for heart disease (CDC). High cholesterol is caused by two major factors: diet and heredity. It can be successfully controlled with diet, exercise and may require medications. There are two types of cholesterol. Low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is sometimes known as bad cholesterol. A high LDL cholesterol leads to a buildup of cholesterol in the arteries. The higher the level of LDL in the blood, the greater risk for developing heart disease. High density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is sometimes known as good cholesterol. HDL moves cholesterol from other parts of the body to the liver where it is removed from the body. The higher the HDL cholesterol level, the lower your chance of getting heart disease. Cholesterol levels are measured in milligrams (mg) of cholesterol per deciliter (dl) of blood. The NHLBI reports that an optimal LDL reading is less than 100 mg/dl. And a desirable HDL level is mg/dl, but the higher, the better. And the total cholesterol reading less then 200 mg/dl is desirable. 11

12 Stroke Having blood pressure checked professionally combined with home monitoring are the first steps in monitoring and controlling high blood pressure and decreasing risk Chapter of heart disease and stroke. Stroke is a leading cause of disability and the third leading cause of death 8 in the United States. Stroke risk factors that can be modified or controlled include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, and obesity. The American Heart Association reports that high blood pressure is the number one modifiable risk factor for stroke. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), recent studies show that in adults ages with blood pressures as low as 115/75mm HG, the risk of death from heart disease and stroke begins to rise and doubles for each increased increment of 20 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure or 10mm Hg in diastolic blood pressure. Heart Disease Heart disease is the leading cause of death among Americans and high blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease and stroke; even modest elevations in blood pressure are associated with an increase in disease and morbidity. Because the consequences of high blood pressure are so serious, early detection, treatment, and control are critical. About 50% of people who suffer a first heart attack and about 66% of people experiencing a first stroke have blood pressure above 160/95 mm Hg. 1 1Hellermann JP, Goraya TY, Jacobsen SJ, Weston SA, Reeder GS, Gersh BJ, Redfield MM, Rodeheffer RJ, Yawn BP, Roger VL. Incidence of Heart Failure after Myocardial Infarction: Is It Changing over Time? Arch Intern Med 1997;157: Diabetes There are 18.2 million people in the United States, 6.3% of the population, who have diabetes. It is estimated that 13 million have been diagnosed with this disease, but 5.2 million people remain unaware that they have diabetes (American Diabetes Association, ADA). 12

13 Chapter 9 How to use a blood pressure monitor When making the measurement it is important to follow the manufacturer s instructions on the use of the device. In addition, patients should follow these simple steps to insure the most accurate blood pressure measurement: Have a paper and pen ready to record the blood pressure measurement. Some blood pressure monitors will record and save the measurement automatically. 1. Place the cuff on your upper arm, preferably your left arm. Make sure the hose from the cuff is inserted into the cuff connector at the inside of your elbow crease along the brachial artery. 2. Sit in a quiet, calm environment with your bared arm resting on a standard table or other support so the midpoint of the upper arm is at heart level. Relax and wait for at least five minutes before even beginning the measurement. Do not take phone calls, talk or move during the measurement. This can cause an error or erroneous measurement also called an artifact. 3. Wrap the blood pressure cuff around the upper arm or wrist (depending on the unit type) and follow the manufacturer s instructions to ensure an appropriate fit and use. 4. Make the blood pressure measurement. With experience you ll become familiar with your range of typical measurements. If your measurement seems too high, or too low compared to your typical measurements, take another measurement. Some blood pressure monitors take three measurements then provide an average. This technique is useful for providing a more accurate result by minimizing the effect from artifacts. 5. Record the blood pressure measurement reading and the time and date of the measurement. This can be done by keeping a manual log of your measurements or by using a monitor with a memory function. Many monitors today have the ability to store up to 99 different measurements with the corresponding time and date. 13

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