Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring
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What is Ambulatory Blood Pressure

Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring is a blood pressure test that is performed continuously across a 24-hour period. The test investigates and identifies how your blood pressure relates to your daily activities, while detecting any abnormal changes that would otherwise be missed. It is also a very useful way of diagnosing high blood pressure (hypertension), a condition which usually has no signs or symptoms, and which can be an indication of other health conditions such as heart disease. Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring is an effective way to determine the level of potential risk, as well as the opportunity to evaluate how effectively any prescribed blood pressure medication is working for existing conditions. ‘Ambulatory’ simply refers to the fact that you are moving around while the measurements are being recorded.

How does it work?

Ambulatory blood pressure takes multiple readings across a 24-hour period, so that your average blood pressure reading is measured over an average day and night. A small digital blood pressure monitor is attached to your waist while a blood pressure cuff is wrapped around your arm. The cuff inflates and deflates at regular intervals both day and night to measure and record your blood pressure, while you continue with your usual activities across the day. When the monitor is returned to your doctor, the readings are evaluated and analysed to give an average blood pressure based on the entire 24-hour period. This is believed to be a more effective way of achieving accurate results, compared with one-off measurements. Your doctor will talk to you about your results.

Why do I need it?

Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring can help a wide range of people and your doctor may recommend testing for those who already have high blood pressure, patients yet to be diagnosed, and patients taking medication that may affect their blood pressure. It is also a useful investigative tool to examine why blood pressure sometimes remains high, despite medication.

What does Ambulatory Blood Pressure test for?

There are many reasons why ambulatory blood pressure monitoring is considered an extremely effective medical tool:

  • It accurately measures your blood pressure over an extended period as opposed to at one point in the day.
  • It mitigates ‘white coat syndrome’, where anxiety in medical appointments can cause high blood pressure in that moment.
  • It uncovers ‘masked hypertension’, a condition where high blood pressure persists outside of medical appointments.
  • The test can better predict your risk of heart disease and guide your treatment plan.

What's next?

If you have been experiencing heart-related symptoms, book an appointment with our cardiac services specialist today.

Have questions?

Unsure about your next steps? Get in touch today, we’re here to help.

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