MANILA — Heath advocates urged Filipinos to practice blood pressure home monitoring, saying it is a key factor in regulating hypertension and preventing complications.
Neurologist and Philippine Society of Hypertension vice president Dr. Alejandro Bimbo Diaz said many patients taking maintenance medicines still do not have their blood pressure under control, which may lead to stroke or other complications.
“Mahalaga na ang home blood pressure monitoring ay magawa, especially yung mga taong may high blood pressure, para malaman nila kung kontrolado ang blood pressure,” Diaz said.
A 120 to 130 systolic blood pressure indicates a controlled BP.
The threshold of hypertension or high blood pressure is 135/85 at home and 140/90 or above in clinics.
Diaz said a good time to measure BP at home is in the morning before taking coffee and before sleeping.
Stroke remains one of the leading causes of death in the Philippines with more than 63,000 recorded cases of cerebrovascular diseases, including stroke in 2022, making them the third leading cause of death in the country, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.
To avoid high blood pressure, Diaz said it is important to eat healthy by lowering salt intake and avoiding ultra-processed food, do physical activities, avoid smoking, moderate alcohol intake and keep watch of one’s weight.
“Importantly during the holiday season ay bantayan nila ang blood pressure -- kung nasa control pa ba, kung wala sa kontrol. Dapat konsultahin ang doktor nila para makontrol,” Diaz said.
“Ang hypertension kasi is a silent killer. Kung hindi mo naagapan, pwede kang mamatay instantly without even knowing mataas na pala yung blood pressure mo. Pero kung nagmo-monitor ka, makikita mo ang mga numero,” said Janis Calaqui, marketing manager of medical equipment provider OMRON Asia Pacific Philippines.
OMRON recently introduced the Stroke Risk Calculator on its website to help individuals assess their risk of stroke in the next 5 to 10 years based on their eating habits, medical history, and current lifestyle.
Developed by the Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, the free online assessment tool offers information about the top contributors to an individual's stroke risk.
The questionnaire makes predictions depending on one's habits pertaining to diet, drinking, and exercise as well as medical history such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, as well as one’s age, ethnicity, sex, height and weight.
OMRON's stroke risk calculator can be accessed here.