Masked hypertension is a complex condition that often goes unnoticed, but can pose significant health risks. This phenomenon occurs when individuals have normal blood pressure readings in a clinical setting, but experience higher values in their daily lives. This discrepancy makes it challenging to diagnose and can lead to serious complications such as heart disease and kidney disease if left untreated.
The diagnosis of masked hypertension is complicated due to the natural variability of blood pressure, influenced by factors such as stress, activity levels and time of day. While traditional measurements are often used in a medical setting, they can be misleading in diagnosing this condition. Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) and home blood pressure monitoring (HBPM) provide greater insight by allowing measurements over time and in different environments, providing a more accurate picture of a person's blood pressure variations.
Treatment for masked hypertension focuses on lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet, regular exercise and stress management. In some cases, medication may be necessary to regulate blood pressure. It is crucial that persons at risk of masked hypertension undergo regular check-ups and, if necessary, monitor their blood pressure at home to identify any abnormalities in a timely manner.
By raising awareness and improving the availability of advanced monitoring techniques, we can improve the detection and treatment of masked hypertension. This is essential to minimize the health risks associated with uncontrolled hypertension and to protect individuals from the potentially serious consequences of this hidden condition.