High blood pressure (hypertension) is a serious medical condition that occurs when fluid (blood) pressure within the arteries is chronically elevated. If left uncontrolled, hypertension can trigger the onset of numerous life threating events including stroke, heart attack, and kidney failure. Sadly, high blood pressure is a sort of “silent killer” because it typically has no symptoms until the damage has already been done.
Although the development of hypertension is a complex process that’s closely linked to inevitable factors like genetics, gender and age, you can greatly reduce your risk by making healthy lifestyle choices and regularly monitoring your blood pressure levels. I’m sure you’re already aware of the importance of physical activity, proper nutrition, and abstinence from cigarette smoking but are you mindful of your current blood pressure status?
If not, and you think you may be at risk, I highly recommend investing in a good blood pressure monitor designed for home use. When left undiagnosed and untreated, hypertension is deadly, which is why blood pressure tests are generally a routine component of physicians’ visits for individuals both young and old.
I live a pretty healthy lifestyle but I personally make it a practice to regularly monitor my blood pressure just to be on the safe side.
Always on the hunt for reliable, affordable, practical solutions for the everyday consumer. I just recently vetted the iHealth View wireless wrist blood pressure monitor, one of the newest clinically tested, FDA approved portable devices to hit the market. After having played around with the iHealth View and many of its essential components including the MyVitals mobile app, I can certainly attest to some of its strengths and shortcomings.
First off, a major strength is that the device itself is extremely lightweight (0.24 pounds), user friendly and wireless, allowing you to conveniently measure your blood pressure comfortably on your wrist in minutes. You can view your results directly on the device display and then transfer all your data to any Apple or Android device by way of the MyVitals mobile app.
Let me break the measurements down a bit further.
Blood pressure (the force exerted by circulating fluid on artery walls) is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). During a typical blood pressure test, “systolic” and “diastolic” blood pressures are determined and recorded as a ratio (110/70 mmHg). In this ratio, the systolic value (top number) represents the maximum pressure within the arteries while the diastolic value (bottom number) indicates the minimum pressure.
The iHealth View depicts your systolic and diastolic blood pressures as separate values directly on the face of the device. Once you’ve viewed your results you can then launch the MyVitals mobile app and immediately sync the data stored on your device using Bluetooth Smart Ready technology in order to see how your unique readings measure up to medical standards. An “ideal” or “normal” ratio for blood pressure is one that’s less than 120/80 while ratios above 140/90 are considered “high”.
Other ratios that lie within a grey area between normal and high are typically classified as “prehypertension”, which is essentially indicative of increased risk. Since blood pressure tends to fluctuate throughout the day and even in the presence of anxiety or stress, a single elevated reading doesn’t mean you have hypertension. But, if your values are repeatedly elevated, this definitely warrants scheduling an appointment with your physician.
Along with systolic and diastolic blood pressures, the iHealth View also measures your resting heart rate by way of your “pulse”. Resting heart rate is one of the simplest indicators of cardiovascular health with normal averages ranging from 40 to 100 beats per minute (bpm) among healthy adults.
In the context of stroke and heart disease risk in general, elevated RHR is typically much less discussed than high blood pressure. However, mounting evidence suggests that elevated resting heart rate may not only increase the risk of hypertension but may also predict premature death risk. As such, this measurement supplied by the iHealth View is equally as important.
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