Study recommends repeated BP readings to avoid misdiagnosis

Study recommends repeated BP readings to avoid misdiagnosis

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NEW DELHI:  A recent study by senior cardiologists has highlighted the need for repeated measurement of blood pressure (BP) during a clinic or screening visit to reduce the inaccurate classification of a patient’s correct BP, resulting in wrong diagnosis, unnecessary treatment, and the associated adverse effects.

Many physicians at present, either due to high patient load or lack of awareness, prescribe hypertension medication based on just one BP measurement.

The study, conducted by researchers at the Public Health Foundation of India, AIIMS, New Delhi and the Economics and Planning Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, has been published in the Journal of Human Hypertension.

Researchers found a 63 % higher prevalence of hypertension when estimated through a single BP measurement as compared to an average of 2nd and 3rd measurement.

In the large population-based survey, authors observed a large variation in the prevalence of hypertension and the Mean Systolic Blood Pressure (SBP) and Diastolic Blood Pressure (DBP) in single versus repeated BP recordings.

Dorairaj Prabhakaran, Vice President – Research and Policy, PHFI and one of the main authors of the study said, “There is a need to ensure accuracy. It is vital that clinical guidelines recommend uniform evidence-based methods of arriving at the final clinic BP.”

Change needed

A simple way to correct BP measurement is multiple readings in the same visit. Improper measurement results in overestimation of the condition and inaccurate classification of the symptoms

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