Manage hypertension by monitoring blood pressure

Manage hypertension by monitoring blood pressure

Hypertension is called the silent killer because the symptoms typically don’t present themselves until the damage has already been done. 

A partnership between the American Heart Association and University Health’s general medicine clinic aims to get blood pressure monitoring kits into the hands of patients who can use them to take home, in an effort to get their blood pressure to healthy levels.

Free Blood Pressure Monitoring Kits

Dr. Ambili Ramachandran, the co-medical director of the general medicine clinic at University Health, explains we can provide patients with a blood pressure monitor to be used at home for a certain amount of time.

Dr. Ramachandran also mentioned the goal is to identify elevated blood pressure by seeing a primary care provider regularly.

“When a patient is seen in a clinic and their physician or advanced practice provider identifies that they have elevated blood pressure, we can provide them with this blood pressure monitor at no cost to them,” Dr. Ramachandran said.

Dr. Ramachandran said this partnership with the AHA can be lifesaving. “Our goal is to identify much earlier than that by seeing your primary care doctor regularly and doing these sorts of things to measure blood pressure on your own at home."

High Blood Pressure Risk Factors

  • Age
  • Race
  • Being overweight
  • Being sedentary
  • Having too much salt in your diet

When Should I Be Concerned?

Normal blood pressure is 120/80. “Any numbers higher than that raise our concern for either elevated blood pressure when it starts to be just a little bit higher, maybe in the 120s, for the systolic blood pressure, and if the top number is greater than 130 consistently,” Dr. Ramachandran said.

Patients are also asked to keep a logbook of their blood pressure readings at home.

Food Insecurity Contributes to Health Problems

A second component of the program includes screening for food insecurity. “It’s not unusual for a patient who has many of these chronic medical conditions that we’re treating (hypertension and diabetes) to have limited access to healthy foods," Dr. Ramachandran said.

Preventive Health at University Health

Find preventive and primary care at University Health in San Antonio. 

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