By Ryniel Berlanga
The Philippine Heart Association (PHA) and Philippine Society of Hypertension (PHS) in cooperation with Pfizer, vow to strengthen their commitment in reducing hypertension-related problems in the Philippines through their campaign of highlighting the utilization of home blood pressure monitoring (HBPM) device to monitor one’s BP.
HBPM is now well accepted as a reliable tool to monitor one’s BP while engaging in regular daily activities and this can guide the physician on any revision required in one’s antihypertensive regimen to control the BP to optimal levels. The tool also has the capability of identifying masked and whitecoat hypertension.
According to the PHA and PSH, the cut-off value is 135/85 mmHg. Ideally the BP should be lower than this. Preferably lower than 130/80 mmHg if tolerated including elderly patients who are still ambulatory and not considered frail. “HBPM is performed in the Philippines, but not routinely, and there are no published data on the use of HBPM in the country. HBPM is currently used to investigate the status of BP control in patients with known hypertension who are taking treatment but with uncontrolled BP on follow-up,” explained PHA President Dr. Jorge Sison.
Based on a consensus research, the use of HBPM is recommended to provide a better evaluation of a patient’s BP pattern and detect any lability. Adequate 24-hour control can help prevent hypertension mediated organ damage (HMOD) and hypertension related complications like stroke and heart attack.
Based on a previous survey conducted in 2013, the treatment rate of diagnosed hypertensive patients in the country is 75 percent with a control rate of 27 percent.
According to Dr. Sison, some specialists evaluate the HBPM readings in conjunction with clinic BP readings, which may be higher in some patients with white coat hypertension.
Potential barriers to the use of HBPM include the cost and availability of HBPM devices, with only around 25 percent of the population with hypertension currently having access to such devices. Another barrier is the lack of trust among patients regarding the accuracy of their digital BP devices, explained Dr. Sison.
The PHA and PSH have collaborated with the International Society of Hypertension for the May Measurement Month which screened close to half a million Filipinos last year and this year nationwide.
July 2018 Health and Lifestyle