Diagnosis of Hypertension

High blood pressure is often diagnosed during a visit to your healthcare provider. Blood pressure is measured using a cuff around your arm and a device called a sphygmomanometer. Your healthcare provider may ask you to sit quietly for five minutes before checking your blood pressure.

Placement of Blood Pressure Cuff

© 2008 Nucleus Medical Art, Inc.

If your blood pressure reading is high, you will probably be asked to come back for repeat blood pressure checks. The diagnosis of high blood pressure may be made if you have three or more readings over 140/90.

Some people’s blood pressure goes up when they are at the doctor’s office. If your healthcare provider 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.


American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.americanheart.org .

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/ .

Last reviewed February 2007 by Elie Edmond Rebeiz, MD, FACS

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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