Peer Pressure

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

Peer Pressure

Peer pressure usually has a negative connotation but the right kind of peer pressure can provide positive results. Recently, studying the impact of peer pressure on reducing blood pressure has provided encouraging results for patients with hypertension (high blood pressure). According to the Heart Organization, normal blood pressure is less than 120 mmHg (systolic or the upper number) and 80 mmHg (diastolic or the lower number). Elevated blood pressures have different classifications as shown in the table.

American Heart Association Blood Pressure Categories

Source: American Heart Association.

One study reported the effect of peer pressure through a peer supportive program. In this study, one group of hypertension patients was provided 6 one-hour sessions of the peer support and training sessions and a control group was not. With pressure measurements conducted at various points, the researchers concluded that the peer supportive program was effective in promoting systolic and diastolic blood pressure scores in patients with hypertension.

In a second, on-going study, a peer support group was formed in an existing social network in a low-income community that had a practice of sharing resources and the group was provided a digital blood pressure monitor. The intent of the study is to encourage the sharing of knowledge on hypertension, disease progress and practice of self-blood pressure monitoring among the participants whose income would prevent them from purchasing their own blood pressure monitor. This recently initiated study has not reported results yet but should prove interesting.

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May: National High Blood Pressure Education Month

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities and you. In this blog we’ll discuss the importance of high blood pressure and creating visibility for this important health issue.

May: National High Blood Pressure Education Month

Do not over inflate! For tires this means air pressure but for humans it means blood pressure. With high blood pressure, a person’s artery walls can fail and ultimately be the cause of death. With this in mind, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has designated May as National High Blood Pressure Education Month. The facts are:

  • Data from 2010 indicates that 1,000 deaths occurred each day in America due at least in part to high blood pressure.
  • In the US, about 1 of 3 adults or 67 million people has high blood pressure.

Target desirable readings are 120 over 80: a systolic (top) number of 120 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and a diastolic (bottom) number of 80 mmHg. The top number is the pressure caused by the heart pumping blood and the bottom number is the value between beats. Higher values of 139 systolic and 80–89 diastolic indicate prehypertension. A person with a systolic reading of 140 or greater or diastolic value of 90 or greater has hypertension.

The mechanical sphygmomanometer remains one of the tools to measure blood pressure. However, MEMS pressure sensors provide accurate and easily automated measurements for digital pressure measurements and monitoring, especially in post-surgery and other critical situations. The American Heart Association has stated, “Accurate measurement of blood pressure is essential to classify individuals, to ascertain blood pressure–related risk, and to guide management.” While technique, cuff size, position, time of day and other factors are important for accurate measurements, accuracy starts at the level of the basic sensing element.

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Do you have a pressure sensing question? Let me know and I’ll address it in an upcoming blog.
-Dan DeFalco, Marketing Manager, All Sensors Corporation (