World Hypertension Day: Tips for patients with high blood pressure

chinacdc.cn | Updated: 2022-05-26
World Hypertension Day is observed on May 17 every year to raise awareness and promote hypertension prevention, detection and control. Let's take a look at some key facts about hypertension prevention and treatment.
 
The blood pressure of the human body fluctuates regularly. For example, it fluctuates with the seasons, and is usually higher in winter and lower in summer.
 
In winter, the blood vessels constrict in cold weather and the human body sweat less, and as the blood volume in the vessels does not change, blood pressure naturally rises. In summer, blood vessels dilate in hot weather, so the blood pressure falls. 
 
Therefore, patients with hypertension should pay attention to the fluctuations of blood pressure, appropriately increase or reduce the dosage under the guidance of doctors, and not stop taking medications at will.
 
Blood pressure also fluctuates regularly throughout the day. In the morning, when people wake up from their sleep, the sympathetic nerves begin to get excited, so their heart rates accelerate and blood pressure rises. Blood pressure peaks during two periods of each day: 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. It reaches the lowest at night and stays at a certain level. 
 
This is why when someone checks his/her blood pressure several times a day, he/she will find that the readings are different.
 
Fluctuations of blood pressure may also be affected by mood, exercise, diet and other external factors, and they are more obvious in patients with hypertension. 
 
Therefore, we cannot draw conclusions based on the results of one blood pressure measurement. If necessary, 24-hour blood pressure monitoring should be taken.
 
How should patients with hypertension control blood pressure in summer?

Studies show that there are differences between blood pressures in summer and in winter. The average daytime blood pressure in summer is about 2mmhg lower than that in winter, the nighttime blood pressure and pulse pressure in summer are higher than those in winter, and the proportion of patients with non-dipper hypertension and simple nighttime hypertension in summer is higher than that in winter.
 
In summer, the blood pressures of patients fluctuate greatly. Don’t reduce or stop taking antihypertensive medicine, unless there is symptomatic hypotension. Stopping medication will lead to increased blood pressure and higher risk of cardiovascular diseases. For this reason, summer is the season of high incidence of hypertensive complications.
 
Health tips for patients with high blood pressure in summer

1.  Measure blood pressure frequently
If there are patients with hypertension at home, family members must pay more attention to them. You should use a sphygmomanometer to measure their blood pressure frequently. In this way, you can have a good understanding about their conditions, and seek medical help in case of any incident.
 
2.  Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Keep a low-salt and low-fat diet and consume more vegetables and water. 
Quit smoking, restrict alcohol consumption and maintain a positive attitude.
Do moderate exercise. You can choose to exercise in the morning or evening to control weight and avoid obesity.
 
3.  Adjust medication according to medical advice
The summer heat may lead to an increase of blood pressure at night. Due to the wide use of air conditioning at home and the change of temperature around the human body, significant fluctuations of blood pressure may happen, which may cause complications from hypertension and even endanger life.
 
Stopping medication at will may induce cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases and endanger lives. Because everyone has different tolerance to increased blood pressure, medication must vary from person to person. We cannot copy other people's prescriptions.
 
Choose long-acting antihypertensive medicine, which can stabilize blood pressure within 24 hours, better control the blood pressure at night and keep it within the standard range for a long time, and thus reduce the incidence of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease. At the same time, patients should adjust their medication scientifically under medical guidance.