Hyderabad: When you go for measurement of blood pressure and it is high in a single reading, do not believe it. Termed as ‘white-coat’ hypertension' which is due to anxiety created at the doctor's clinic, this condition was found to be misdiagnosed in 42 per cent of the 18,000 people surveyed in four years in India. In Telangana, the misdiagnosis was found to be as high as 36 percent. The reason for ‘white-coat’ hypertension' is because those general physicians or cardiologists who take one reading and prescribe medicines have not updated themselves with the guidelines of American Heart Association.
The guidelines state that hypertension must not be measured once but at least four different times during the day. The medicines for hypertension are not to be prescribed till there is chart of 7-day reading which is at different times at work and home.
The study was undertaken in 355 cities in 15 states of the country and it was found that Telangana ranked third in the number of states where this type of hypertension was misdiagnosed. Rajasthan topped the state in misdiagnosis which was as high as 42.5 per cent.
Dr Viraj Suvarna, of Eris Life Sciences explained, “One of the reasons found in the survey for misdiagnosis, is the use of mercury sphygmomano meter which has not been calibrated from time to time. In our continuous medical programs with doctors we have found that of the 100 doctors only 2 of them followed the schedule of regular calibration. Faulty device gives faulty results and it leads to misdiagnosis and wrong treatments.”
Reluctance of the patients to come regularly to the clinic for multiple readings is also another reason why doctors were found to prescribe medicines. Those who were not willing to buy a digital device to check blood pressure at home was also one of the reasons why they were misdiagnosed.
The analysis has found that 40 per cent of the Indians had high blood pressure in the evening and not during the morning. These new findings in the Indian population are showing that there are distinct patterns when blood pressure goes up. Hence medications are to be based on this cycle stated Dr Sunil Kapoor, senior cardiologist at Apollo Hospitals who is collecting data on these different patterns being noticed in blood pressure measurements.