The Importance of Regular Blood Pressure Checks
Patients who regularly check their blood pressure at home consistently have better blood pressure control than those whose pressure is checked only at the time of doctor’s office visits. These findings were reported in a recent study published in the British Medical Journal.
Compared to the office only patients, the home check patients had blood pressures that ran 4 mmHg (points) lower for both the systolic (upper number) and the diastolic (lower number). The longer term outcomes of patients with high blood pressure are directly linked to how well and consistently the blood pressure is lowered. Based on these findings the home check patients would be expected to have a lower risk of stroke, heart attack, heart failure, and kidney failure; the major complications of high blood pressure.
The exact reasons for the better control in the home check patients are not clear. Patients who routinely (2-3 times per week) check their blood pressures at home are likely to be more compliant with their medications and also more likely to make lifestyle changes such as weight loss, regular exercise and salt restriction to keep their blood pressures low. As a result these patients are more likely to keep their doctors informed of the readings allowing the physicians to keep the blood pressure well controlled.
The most important measurement in blood pressure management is the blood pressure itself and we strongly urge all our patients with high blood pressure to check their readings at least once a week. Also, those without high blood pressure should check it monthly. Reliable home blood pressure monitors can be bought for less than seventy five dollars or the blood pressure can be checked at local drug stores or by health offices at one’s place of work. Remember to record the pressure readings along with the date and bring them to office visits with your doctor. Also remember that if you have a large upper arm, use a large blood pressure cuff as a small cuff will record a falsely high number.
You can feel free to fax your blood pressure readings to us for our review at 302 366 5646. The blood pressure goals are now less than 135/85 and 130/80 for those with diabetes.
Cardiology Physicians, P.A.
Abby Medical Center
One Centurian Drive Suite 200
Newark, DE 19713
1401 Foulk Road
GILBERT A. LEIDIG JR., M.D., F.A.C.C.
Dr. Leidig joined Cardiology Physicians in June of 1996. Dr. Leidig obtained a Bachelor of Science degree, Summa Cum Laude, from Loyola College in Baltimore, Maryland. He then attended the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. His post-graduate training in Internal Medicine came during a residency at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Dr. Leidig was an attending physician at Keller Army Hospital at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York. He then did a cardiovascular fellowship at Beth Israel Hospital, Harvard Medical School, in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Leidig served as Chief of Cardiology at Womack Army Medical Center in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He was a consulting associate and interventional attending at the catheterization laboratories at the Duke University Medical Center. His recognitions include membership in A.O.A., and the Best Doctors in Delaware. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease and Interventional Cardiology.
Dr. Leidig has a strong commitment to consultative and clinical cardiology. He has areas of interest including echocardiography, transesophageal echocardiography, and stress echocardiography. Dr. Leidig has expertise in diagnostic catheterization as well as coronary stent placement and angioplasty. He also has expertise in peripheral vascular disease and stent placement and angioplasty for the treatment of peripheral vascular disease.
Dr. Leidig and his wife Meaghen were married in 1985 and are the proud parents of Andrew, Patrick, Farrell and Molly. Our family enjoys gardening, running, swimming, birding and hiking as well as reading, trivia, stamp collecting and current events. Dr. Leidig is on the Pastoral Council at St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Hockessin and on the Salesianum School Board of Trustees.