Have you been advised by your doctor to take medicines for high blood pressure? Think twice. Do you really think you have high blood pressure?

A new study states that about 20 percent of people who get treated for hypertension don't actually have the problem and need not resort to any medication.

What Is High Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure or BP is often described as the pressure that the blood exerts on the artery walls. It is measured from arm artery and expressed in two numbers, which are the systolic BP and the diastolic BP.

When systolic pressure is lower than 140 mmHg and the diastolic pressure is less than 90 mmHg, the BP is considered normal. If a person's BP figure crosses the above stated numbers, then it is said the individual has high BP.

Current Statistics

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are about 75 million American adults who suffer from high BP, which is one of every three adults. Treatment for this problem nearly costs the nation around $46 billion each year.

Measure BP: A New Device

A study conducted by researchers from University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM) claims that over half the family doctors present in Canada continue to use manual devices to measure BP. The usage of this dated technology often leads to misdiagnosis of the numbers.

"Clinicians should use automatic devices. They are more expensive but more precise because they take several measurements. Manual measurement is acceptable if it's properly done, but that's often not the case," said Janusz Kaczorowski, the lead author of the study.

The automated device eliminates the chance of what is known as the white-coat syndrome. This syndrome refers to the additional stress or artificial BP the patient faces for being in a clinical environment. Due to this elimination, Kaczorowski believes that the right BP measurement could be taken.

The Study

The study conducted by Kaczorowski and team was a web-based, cross-sectional survey. It was performed by researchers and professors with the aim of finding out techniques family physicians in Canada currently deploy to gauge BP.

Participants were chosen through stratified random sampling of family physicians in Canada. The survey was distributed to them via e-mail.

Results Of The Study

It was seen that out of the 769 respondents of the survey, 54.2 percent stated that they use manually run devices to measure BP. Only 43 percent of the total participants admitted using an automated device for gauging BP.

The study surmised that in Canada, from an overall perspective, there are a high number of family physicians using electronic devices for BP measurement.

This study has been published in the Canadian Family Physician.

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