While there has recently been a big media push emphasizing the importance of closely monitoring and controlling blood pressure rates to reduce the risks of having a second heart attack, researchers are also pointing out that it’s just as important to control blood pressure levels in order to lower the risks of having a second stroke. In fact, a new study funded by the American Heart Association National Scientist Development Award revealed that regularly controlling and monitoring blood pressure might actually cut the risk of having a second stroke in half; yet its rather alarming that the researchers also discovered that less than 30% of stroke survivors actually maintained healthy blood pressure control for more than 75% of the time. That means a whopping 70% of stroke survivors are putting themselves at a greater risk for having a second stroke.
Perhaps the issue is just a big misunderstanding; maybe people don’t realize just how easy it is to closely monitor and control their blood pressure levels. Yes the doctors will document your blood pressure levels at each visit, but for many people this isn’t enough. In order to monitor and control blood pressure, researchers say that patients should also be monitoring their blood pressure levels at home. Technological advancements have made it extremely easy for patients to obtain accurate blood pressure readings using automatic blood pressure machines
, which are also very affordable. Some machines even have the ability to remotely send the patient’s recorded data to their physician for analysis.
In addition to monitoring blood pressure levels from home, there are some other dietary and lifestyle changes that can easily be implemented to help control blood pressure levels, such a limiting salt intake, following a well-balanced dietary plan that is rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and exercising. If the thought of exercising seems overwhelming to you, a good place to start is getting a pedometer
, which can help you keep track of the number of steps taken a day.