What is the blood pressure holter? When is it recommended to carry out the examination?

13 December 2021

According to the data released by the Italian Society of Arterial Hypertension, about 15 million Italians suffer from arterial hypertension, but only half of them are aware of it.
We speak of hypertension when the maximum pressure is above 140 mmHg and the minimum is above 90 mmHg. Over the time, this condition can cause serious damage to the heart and also to other organs such as kidneys, brain and eyes.
To prevent the damage than can be provoked, it is vital to identify and treat the arterial hypertension (1).
To diagnose arterial hypertension, doctors and healthcare professionals usually carry out a diagnostic procedure that permits to monitor the blood pressure values continuously for 24 hours. The device by which this procedure is carried out is the blood pressure holter.

What is the blood pressure holter?
The blood pressure holter or non-invasive blood pressure monitoring is a non-invasive exam that permits to record blood pressure continuously for 24 hours, thanks to a small portable device, called sphygmomanometer.
This portable sphygmomanometer consists of an inflate armband, connected through a rubber cable to a small blood pressure monitor. This device is very similar to a classic blood pressure monitor, but what differentiates it from the latter is the ability to automatically record, thanks to an internal memory, the result of every single measurement that takes place over the day.
Moreover, unlike a common sphygmomanometer, the blood pressure holter is able to detect the daily fluctuations of blood pressure.
Why is the blood pressure holter useful?
Thanks to its ability to measure blood pressure 24 hours a day, the blood pressure holter monitoring provides a complete evaluation of the blood pressure profile (2) identifying the presence of:
• Unstable or not yet diagnosed arterial hypertension;
• Changes in blood pressure;
• Hypertension on drug therapy;
• The so-called “white coat hypertension” caused by the patient’s anxiety when he/she needs to visit a medical clinic or carry out an examination
• Symptoms associated with changes in blood pressure

When do you need to carry out the blood pressure holter monitoring?

The blood pressure holter monitoring is recommended for:

• People who experience changes in blood pressure especially when they need to visit a hospital/medical clinic or undergo an examination, but they usually show normal blood pressure values at home;
• People who are hypertensive and already on drug therapy;
• People who experience symptoms that may be related to sudden changes in blood pressure;
• People who have blood pressure values that tend to vary suddenly

How does the blood pressure holter monitoring take place?
The blood pressure holter monitoring is a non-invasive exam that requires a simple preparation.
The doctor or the pharmacist will apply the device and the armband to the patient, who will wear it for 24 hours.
During the examination, the blood pressure will be measured automatically every 15 minutes during the day and every 30 minutes at night.
The patient will be able to carry out his/her normal daily activities, paying attention not to bump or move the device to avoid distorting the results of the examination.
After 24 hours, the patient will come back to the pharmacy or the medical clinic to uninstall the device and receive the examination report.
Nowadays it is possible to carry out the exam directly from home, through ActiveAction’s store or at the pharmacy you trust, thanks to ActiveAction’s telemedicine services that give you the possibility of avoiding long waiting times and endless queues to carry out a medical exam, providing at the same time the guarantee of receiving a report drawn up and signed by medical specialists.
If you want to find out more about how to carry out a blood pressure holter examination or if you want to receive further information about the exams that can be carried out from home or at the pharmacy, click here.

1] Level of blood pressure control in a hypertensive population when measurements are performed outside the clinical setting. Cardiol J. - Félix-Redondo FJ, Fernández-Bergés D, Espinosa-Garcia J, Pozuelos-Estrada J, Molina-Martínez LM, Pérez-Castán JF, Ríos-Rivera J, Valiente-Rubio JI, Gómez-de-la-Cámara A, Rodríguez-Pascual N. (2009)
[2] The usefulness of 24-hour blood pressure monitoring for the patients with atrial fibrillation: based on the variability of blood pressure parameters. Blood Press Monit - Tong HY, Fan WG, Su H. (2020)


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