Masked hypertension is term used when a person’s blood pressure is normal at a clinic but becomes elevated out of the clinic. There are numerous reasons of masked hypertension such as excessive smoking or drinking, age, lack of exercise and weight gain.
The most important and common cause for masked hypertension is working for long hours at office. A lot of people experience normal blood pressure in clinics, but as soon as they go back to home, their blood pressure rises.
Some people think that they have stress in their home environment, a rise into their blood pressure might be the reason. According to the American Heart Assosciation’s study, approximately 15-30% of adults in the U.S. are suffering from masked hypertension. Most of them are 18 years and above and there are around 82,000 deaths per year due to masked hypertension.
Canadian Research Study’s Findings
In a Canadian research study, a comparision was done among 3,500 white-collar employees who worked for a certain number of hours in a week. The study found that –
- People who worked for 49 hours and more in a week had 70% chances of getting masked hypertension. Whereas, 66% had sustained hypertension.
- Those who worked between 41-48 hours a week, 54% of them were associated with masked hypertension, and 42% were allied with sustained hypertension.
Masked hypertension is highly associated with cardiovascular diseases. A person is highly on risk of getting masked hypertension when associated with congenital heart issues. At times, it happens that people with hypertension when visit clinics feel more relaxed, thus show a reduced blood pressure at clinic. The same is with the workplace. Many people feel light in the workplace than at their homes, thus their pressure becomes normal at office but elevates at home. Most of the times it remains undetected whether the person is suffering from masked hypertension or not.
It happens to be such that, a person with masked hypertwnsion need to consult a doctor if they feel such. In my opinion, every person doing overtime in any part of the country should get their ambulatory blood pressure checked which helps them find out whether they are masked hypertensive or not.
The best treatment to this is only that it should be regularly checked followed by the right treatment as suggested by the doctor. Not only people with cardio issues, but patients suffering from kidney disorders, diabetes or having metabolic syndromes or any kind of organ damage also have the risk of developing masked hypertension.
How to Check Whether You Are Masked Hypertensive or Not?
Every, 1 out 7-8 person is a masked hypertensive. To check whether the person is masked hypertensive or not, they need to attach a blood pressure checking machine on their hand for a couple of hours. It takes their pressure count regularly while awake, and while sleeping, at an interval of 1 hour. This procedure will show whether the person has been suffering from masked hypertension or not. The study conducted by the American Heart Association mentions that women also have the same tendency to be affected by masked hypertension as men does.
Masked hypertension detecting activity was done on white-collar people only, as they are the one who have more of a sitting and sedenatry lifestyle. The blue-collar people or hourly and daily wage earner have a lot of labour work to do, thus they do not fit the eligibility criteria for the test. It has been found that one out of five people with masked hypertension never showed high blood pressure for over five years in a clinical setting, which delays the diagnosis and treatment.
A UW Health’s patient Connie Kilmark, says that she use to have a fit lifestyle of exercising and a healthy diet made her realise of her having a control into her blood pressure. She could eat a pound and a half of broccoli. But, somewhere she knew that her pressure rose up, once she left the clinic. When she took part in the UW Health research was when she got to know about her high blood pressure, excessive nose bleeding and heart palpitations. Her echocardiogram later showed severely dilated left atrium, and the reason for this was her blood pressure untreated for many years.
How to Keep Masked Hypertension in Control
Dr. Johnson from the UW Healthcare has advised certain tips to keep the masked hypertension in control. Here are some of the tips:
Know Your Number
You should always know your blood pressure range so that you can keep a track of variation or the elevation.
Varying in Settings
There should be a regular check of the blood pressure outside the clinic and at home. If there is an elevated pattern, the doctor might ask you to wear the tracker.
Look Out for symptoms
Generally a hypertensive patient wouldn’t experience symptoms. But, a few would like heart palpitations, headache, shortness of breath, chest discomfort and vision impairment. If you get similar symptoms, immediately consult with your doctor and get the treatment.
There should be a change in the lifestyle of the person with appropriate diet, regular exercise, and stress-free life. Reduction of sodium and an increase in potassium are some of the key points.
It is very important for people to detect masked hypertension at the early stage to help the treatment process start on time. Along with that, people who have symptoms of masked hypertension should try to reduce their working hours to around 35 in a week. It can be concluded that working for long hours in office can lead to masked hypertension and it is up to us to try our best to keep it at bay. As they say, “High blood pressure is something that’s not very romantic, rather it can be stealthy and dangerous, and the damage can be irreversible.”
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