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Need for At-Home Blood Pressure Monitoring Underscored by High-Profile Cardiac Deaths
Date:7/20/2009

BANNOCKBURN, Ill., July 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Heart disease is the leading cause of death in men in the United States(1). Yet it's often not until the untimely passing of a celebrity from a cardiac event - such as Billy Mays or Tim Russert - that the issue is brought to the forefront of Americans' health and wellness routine. And even then, when there's a heightened focus on heart health, a recent survey(2) uncovered that only 14 percent of people would be inclined to start regularly monitoring their blood pressure at home - a preventive measure highly recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA)(3) since it can help signal impending cardiac distress caused by high blood pressure.

High blood pressure increases the workload of the heart and arteries in order to maintain the body's necessary blood flow. It causes your heart to pump harder and requires the arteries to carry blood that's under greater pressure. If left untreated, sustained high blood pressure can lead to serious health problems, such as stroke, congestive heart failure and heart attack. Further, if no measures are in place to monitor heart health, a cardiac event can seem to come on suddenly -- according to the AHA, about 310,000 people a year die suddenly of coronary heart disease (CHD) without ever being hospitalized or even admitted to an emergency room.

At-Home Wake-Up Call

"High blood pressure is called 'the silent killer' since it has little or no symptoms. Many people don't realize that it can be difficult to detect by only monitoring it in a doctor's office, which is why home blood pressure monitoring is so important," says Dr. Annabelle Volgman, cardiologist, Rush University Medical Center. "It's an absolutely critical step for anyone with known or suspected hypertension and may provide the only early warning to a cardiac event."

New Study Reveals Risks of Sporadic Hypertension and Effectiveness of Home Blood Pressure Monitoring

Making an even stronger case for home blood pressure monitoring is a recent study published in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association(4). The research showed that sporadic hypertension - whether white coat or masked - substantially increases the risk of sustained hypertension later in life as well as the likelihood of heart attack, stroke and death. White coat hypertension is the name for high blood pressure seen only at the doctor's office, whereas masked hypertension is high blood pressure that is not seen at the doctor's office yet the patient actually does have hypertension. And the study found blood pressure monitoring at home may help detect both "white coat" and "masked" hypertension.

The AHA recommends purchasing a home blood pressure monitor that is clinically validated for accuracy(5). Omron Healthcare offers a variety of clinically validated home blood pressure monitors which meet all of the AHA guidelines and posses the accuracy that has made Omron the #1 doctor recommended brand.

Omron Healthcare home blood pressure monitors range in price and features and are available at major pharmacy stores and online retailers nationwide. To learn more about the complete line of Omron home blood pressure monitors, visit www.omronhealthcare.com or www.omronwebstore.com.

About Omron Healthcare

Omron Healthcare, Inc., located in Bannockburn, IL, is the North and South American sales and marketing office of Omron Healthcare Group, a leading manufacturer and distributor of blood pressure monitors for home use. With more than 80 million monitors sold worldwide to date, Omron Healthcare Group was the first to introduce manual and digital blood pressure monitors into the home healthcare market. Omron Healthcare offers innovative products and medical devices for use in sites ranging from hospitals to the home in the blood pressure monitoring, fitness diagnostics, thermometry, and respiratory categories. Omron Healthcare markets clinically proven products that provide accurate health information to consumers and physicians and support positive lifestyle changes and health improvement. For more information, visit www.omronhealthcare.com.

    (1) National Center for Health Statistics. Health, United States, 2007
        with Chartbook on Trends in the Health of Americans. Hyattsville, MD:
        2007
    (2) The survey was conducted online with a random sample of 1,056 men and
        women 18+ -- all members of the Impulse Research proprietary online
        panel.  The Impulse Research proprietary online panel has been
        carefully selected to closely match US population demographics and
        the respondents are representatives of American men and women 18+.
        Research was conducted in July 2009. The overall sampling error rate
        for this survey is +/-3% at the 95% level of confidence
    (3) American Heart Association. Why is home monitoring important?
       http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=576#why
    (4) Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association
    (5) American Heart Association. What kind of monitor should I use?
       http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=576#why


    CONTACT:  Caroline Guth
              Weber Shandwick
              312/988-2410
              cguth@webershandwick.com


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SOURCE Omron Healthcare, Inc.
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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