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The more you know about your health, the better prepared you are to make informed healthcare decisions. Our health library gives you the information you need to take charge of your health.
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.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
High blood pressure.
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Accessed June 18, 2009.
High blood pressure. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
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Updated November 2008. Accessed June 18, 2009.
Hypertension diagnosis and treatment (guideline). Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement website. Available at:
. Published 2010. Accessed May 10, 2012.
Hypertension: making the diagnosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
. Updated April 30, 2012. Accessed May 10, 2012.