Nav: Home

Keep calm and measure cats' blood pressure!

March 01, 2017

A decade ago, an Editorial in The Lancet, 'Hypertension: uncontrolled and conquering the world', presented some alarming facts: the risk of becoming hypertensive during a lifetime exceeds 90% for people in developed countries, with over 1.5 billion adults expected to have hypertension by 2025. It continued: 'screening is not done systematically, and the diagnosis is often made at a late stage when target organ damage has already happened'.

The International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM), the veterinary division of International Cat Care, is highlighting some broadly similar concerns in our feline companions. Hypertension is a well-recognised condition in older cats, yet probably remains significantly underdiagnosed. The consequences can be severe, with target organ damage typically affecting the eyes, heart, brain and kidneys. Some damage, such as blindness resulting from complete retinal detachment, is irreversible. Other damage, however, is more amenable to antihypertensive treatment, highlighting the importance of early diagnosis and intervention. However, this presents challenges, particularly as routine blood pressure monitoring is generally performed infrequently in cats. Furthermore, cats are notoriously susceptible to stress in the veterinary clinic, which can lead to 'white coat hypertension' and hamper interpretation of results.

To guide veterinary practitioners in the clinical management of hypertension in their feline patients, the society has this month published 'ISFM Consensus Guidelines on the Diagnosis and Management of Hypertension in Cats' in its flagship Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery*. The recommendations are those of an expert panel of veterinary clinicians and academics gathered from the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, France and the USA, and cover several key areas. These include: how often to monitor blood pressure for cats of different ages and health status; when antihypertensive therapy is justified based on different systolic blood pressure readings and evidence of target organ damage; and what an investigation of hypertensive cats should include.

Samantha Taylor, a specialist in feline medicine and one of the co-chairs of the guidelines panel, explains: 'Well illustrated and easy to read, it is hoped that these guidelines will encourage more widespread monitoring of blood pressure in veterinary clinics to increase the early identification of this treatable condition, and prevent the severe clinical consequences of untreated hypertension.'
-end-
Accompanying the guidelines, which are endorsed by the American Association of Feline Practitioners, are further resources to assist veterinarians with the diagnosis of hypertension. A blood pressure evaluation form can be downloaded from the supplementary material; in addition, a series of short videos produced by the ISFM on measuring blood pressure in cats is available in various languages at youtube.com/user/iCatCare.

*Taylor SS, Sparkes AH, Briscoe K, et al. ISFM Consensus Guidelines on the Diagnosis and Management of Hypertension in Cats. J Feline Med Surg 2017; 19: 288-303.

Picture:

An accurate blood pressure reading relies on good, consistent measurement technique, and careful handling of the cat to avoid stress. Image courtesy of Andrew Sparkes

Press enquiries: Samantha Taylor, sam.taylor@icatcare.org

The Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery is the official journal of the ISFM, and is published in partnership with SAGE and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP). All ISFM and AAFP guidelines are free to access and download from guidelines.jfms.com

SAGE

Related Blood Pressure Articles:

Brain blood flow sensor discovery could aid treatments for high blood pressure & dementia
A study led by researchers at UCL has discovered the mechanism that allows the brain to monitor its own blood supply, a finding in rats which may help to find new treatments for human conditions including hypertension (high blood pressure) and dementia.
Here's something that will raise your blood pressure
The apelin receptor (APJ) has been presumed to play an important role in the contraction of blood vessels involved in blood pressure regulation.
New strategy for treating high blood pressure
The key to treating blood pressure might lie in people who are 'resistant' to developing high blood pressure even when they eat high salt diets, shows new research published today in Experimental Physiology.
Arm cuff blood pressure measurements may fall short for predicting heart disease risk in some people with resistant high blood pressure
A measurement of central blood pressure in people with difficult-to-treat high blood pressure could help reduce risk of heart disease better than traditional arm cuff readings for some patients, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association's Hypertension 2019 Scientific Sessions.
Heating pads may lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure when lying down
In people with supine hypertension due to autonomic failure, a condition that increases blood pressure when lying down, overnight heat therapy significantly decreased systolic blood pressure compared to a placebo.
The Lancet Neurology: High blood pressure and rising blood pressure between ages 36-53 are associated with smaller brain volume and white matter lesions in later years
A study of the world's oldest, continuously-studied birth cohort tracked blood pressure from early adulthood through to late life and explored its influence on brain pathologies detected using brain scanning in their early 70s.
Blood pressure control is beneficial, is it not?
Until recently, physicians had generally assumed that older adults benefit from keeping their blood pressure below 140/90 mmHg.
The 'blue' in blueberries can help lower blood pressure
A new study published in the Journal of Gerontology Series A has found that eating 200g of blueberries every day for a month can lead to an improvement in blood vessel function and a decrease in systolic blood pressure in healthy people.
How to classify high blood pressure in pregnancy?
The American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) changed their guidance to lower the threshold criteria for hypertension in adults.
Discovery could advance blood pressure treatments
A team of Vanderbilt University Medical Center researchers, working with the US Department of Veteran's Affairs (VA), has discovered genetic associations with blood pressure that could guide future treatments for patients with hypertension.
More Blood Pressure News and Blood Pressure Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Teaching For Better Humans 2.0
More than test scores or good grades–what do kids need for the future? This hour, TED speakers explore how to help children grow into better humans, both during and after this time of crisis. Guests include educators Richard Culatta and Liz Kleinrock, psychologist Thomas Curran, and writer Jacqueline Woodson.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#556 The Power of Friendship
It's 2020 and times are tough. Maybe some of us are learning about social distancing the hard way. Maybe we just are all a little anxious. No matter what, we could probably use a friend. But what is a friend, exactly? And why do we need them so much? This week host Bethany Brookshire speaks with Lydia Denworth, author of the new book "Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond". This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Space
One of the most consistent questions we get at the show is from parents who want to know which episodes are kid-friendly and which aren't. So today, we're releasing a separate feed, Radiolab for Kids. To kick it off, we're rerunning an all-time favorite episode: Space. In the 60's, space exploration was an American obsession. This hour, we chart the path from romance to increasing cynicism. We begin with Ann Druyan, widow of Carl Sagan, with a story about the Voyager expedition, true love, and a golden record that travels through space. And astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson explains the Coepernican Principle, and just how insignificant we are. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.