Do You Want accurate Blood Pressure readings? Try lying down, suggests new study
A new study suggested that individuals with high blood pressure had more accurate predictions of future stroke, heart issues and mortality when they were in a reclined position compared to those who remained seated.
A new study reveals that lying down during blood pressure measurements could provide a more accurate reading.
The research, presented at the American Heart Association’s Hypertension Scientific Sessions 2023 in Boston, suggested that individuals with high blood pressure had more accurate predictions of future stroke, heart issues and mortality when they were in a reclined position compared to those who remained seated.
These findings, yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, have the potential to revolutionise the way physicians identify patients in need of treatment, according to a report by Fox News.
Lead researcher Dr Stephen Juraschek, at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre and associate professor at Harvard Medical School, expressed his surprise at these unexpected results and their potential impact on patient care.
While “normal” blood pressure is defined as a systolic reading under 120 mmHg and a diastolic reading below 80 mmHg, this study sheds light on the importance of nighttime measurements, which are considered the most reliable.
The research team meticulously analysed the data of 11,369 participants from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, tracking their blood pressure measurements while lying down and sitting.
These individuals, averaging 54 years of age, were followed for an impressive 25-28 years. Strikingly, those who only experienced high blood pressure while lying down faced a staggering 53 per cent greater risk of developing coronary heart disease, a 51 per cent higher risk of heart failure, a 62 per cent higher risk of stroke, and a 34 per cent increased chance of all-cause mortality compared to individuals with consistently normal blood pressure.
Dr Marc Siegel, commended the study, highlighting the consistent correlation between nighttime blood pressure and cardiovascular health.
Gravity’s influence on blood pressure while standing or sitting may compromise accuracy, making the readings less reliable, the publication quoted him.
By contrast, lying down offers a more consistent representation of actual blood pressure, providing vital insights into heart attack and stroke risk.
These findings raise concerns that physicians may overlook high blood pressure if measurements are only taken while patients are seated. While more research is required to confirm these hypotheses, the potential impact on patient care and self-assessment is immense.
Patients could be empowered to check their blood pressure in a supine position, promoting proactive health monitoring and early intervention.