In Singapore, hypertension is a common condition. About 1 in 4 people between the ages of 30 and 69 have hypertension. You are more prone to developing hypertension as you get older. For those in the 60 to 69 age group, more than 1 in 2 have hypertension. Chronic high blood pressure can lead to hypertensive heart diseases and other serious medical conditions if left untreated. It is thus vital that we monitor our blood pressure regularly. Here is some useful information to know before you start to check your blood pressure at home.
Blood Pressure Readings
The pressure exerted by your blood on the blood vessels (especially artery walls) is known as blood pressure. Blood is pumped into the arteries every time your heart beats. Throughout the day, your blood pressure fluctuates – it gets higher when you are physically active or experience anxiety. On the other hand, when you are sleeping or at rest, it will tend to be lower.
These two figures used to indicate blood pressure. Systolic blood pressure, the first number, gauges how much pressure your heart exerts on your arteries as it beats. The second figure, known as diastolic blood pressure, gauges the pressure in your arteries between heartbeats. Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury (“mmHg”). Blood Pressure (BP) readings are ratios of the systolic blood pressure over the diastolic blood pressure – e.g. when the systolic blood pressure is 120 mmHg and the diastolic blood pressure is 80 mmHg, the overall BP reading is expressed as 120/80 mmHg.
Blood Pressure Levels
Your BP reading indicate if your blood pressure level is normal or high.
For people aged 18 and above:
|Normal BP||< 120||and||< 80|
|High-Normal BP||130||or||80 – 89|
|Stage 1 Hypertension||140 – 159||or||90 – 99|
|Stage 2 Hypertension||160||or||100|
|* Isolated Systolic Hypertension||> 140||and||< 90|
* Isolated Systolic Hypertension is graded according to the same level of systolic blood pressure.
When the systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure fall into different categories, the higher category is used to classify the person’s blood pressure level.
What Exactly Is Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)?
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is when your blood pressure is higher than normal. You should see your doctor for medical advice and treatment if you have high blood pressure.
How Often Should You Check Your Blood Pressure?
At age 18, you should start getting your blood pressure checked, and if you are above the age of 40, blood pressure checks should be done regularly. You can check your blood pressure at a doctor’s clinic, or at home using a home blood pressure monitor.
People with blood pressure in the normal range should continue to measure it at least once every 2 years. For those with blood pressure between 130-139/85-89 mmHg, it should be measured at least annually. If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, diabetes or kidney disease, blood pressure checks should be done at least once a week.
Checking Your Blood Pressure At Home
You can check your BP level at home using a home blood pressure monitor. Do read the instructions for the device carefully to ensure accurate readings. The following steps can also help you get more accurate readings:
To accurately measure blood pressure at home, follow these steps:
- Wait 30 minutes before taking your blood pressure after smoking, consuming caffeine, or working out.
- Before getting a reading, ensure your bladder is empty, and you have at least five peaceful minutes to yourself.
- Maintain a straight back when sitting.
Where To Buy Home Blood Pressure Monitors
Home blood pressure monitors are readily available at most pharmacies in Singapore. You can also buy them via ecomm platforms such as Shoppe, Lazada, and Amazon.
Free Blood Pressure Monitoring Applications
There are useful apps available on Android and iOS that helps you keep track of, and manage your blood pressure. Some examples of the blood pressure management apps are:
- Blood Pressure Monitor for iOS.
- Blood Pressure Companion for iOS.
- SmartBP for Android and iOS
- Blood Pressure for Android.
- Blood Pressure Diary for Android.
This article is informative only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.