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Diagnosis of Hypertension
Hypertension is often diagnosed during a visit to your doctor. Blood pressure is measured using a cuff around your arm and a device called a sphygmomanometer. Your doctor may ask you to sit quietly for five minutes before checking your blood pressure.
If your blood pressure reading is high, you will probably be asked to come back for repeat blood pressure checks. If you have three visits with readings over 140/90 mmHG, you will be diagnosed with high blood pressure.
Some people’s blood pressure goes up when they are at the doctor’s office. If your doctor suspects that may be occurring, he or she may ask you to get some blood pressure readings at home. In some cases, he or she may recommend that you wear an ambulatory blood pressure monitor. This device measures your blood pressure regularly throughout the day as you go about your activities. It is usually worn for 24 hours, even while sleeping.
High blood pressure. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.americanheart.org/ . Accessed June 18, 2009.
High blood pressure. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/Hbp/HBP_WhatIs.html . Updated November 2008. Accessed June 18, 2009.
Hypertension diagnosis and treatment (guideline). Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement website. Available at: http://www.icsi.or... . Published 2010. Accessed May 10, 2012.
Hypertension: making the diagnosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/ . Updated April 30, 2012. Accessed May 10, 2012.
Last reviewed September 2013 by Michael J. Fucci, DO
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