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How is high blood pressure measured: Monitoring Your Blood Pressure at Home


Monitoring Your Blood Pressure at Home

How to use a home blood pressure monitor

  • Be still.
    Don’t smoke, drink caffeinated beverages or exercise within 30 minutes before measuring your blood pressure. Empty your bladder and ensure at least 5 minutes of quiet rest before measurements. 

  • Sit correctly.
    Sit with your back straight and supported (on a dining chair, rather than a sofa). Your feet should be flat on the floor and your legs should not be crossed. Your arm should be supported on a flat surface (such as a table) with the upper arm at heart level. Make sure the bottom of the cuff is placed directly above the bend of the elbow. Check your monitor’s instructions for an illustration or have your healthcare provider show you how.
  • Measure at the same time every day.
    It’s important to take the readings at the same time each day, such as morning and evening. It is best to take the readings daily however ideally beginning 2 weeks after a change in treatment and during the week before your next appointment.
  • Take multiple readings and record the results.
    Each time you measure, take two or three readings one minute apart and record the results using a printable (PDF) tracker. If your monitor has built-in memory to store your readings, take it with you to your appointments. Some monitors may also allow you to upload your readings to a secure website after you register your profile.
  • Don’t take the measurement over clothes.

Download a PDF sheet that shows you how to measure your blood pressure properly. Also available in Spanish and Chinese.

Know your numbers

Learn what the numbers in your blood pressure reading mean.

(upper number)
(lower number)
ELEVATED 120 – 129 and LESS THAN 80
130 – 139 or 80 – 89
(consult your doctor immediately)

Note: A diagnosis of high blood pressure must be confirmed with a medical professional. A doctor should also evaluate any unusually low blood pressure readings.

Download this chart: English Jpeg | English PDF | Spanish Jpeg | Spanish PDF | Traditional Chinese Jpeg | Traditional Chinese (PDF)

If you get a high blood pressure reading

  • A single high reading is not an immediate cause for alarm. If you get a reading that is slightly or moderately higher than normal, take your blood pressure a few more times and consult your healthcare professional to verify if there’ s a health concern or whether there may be any issues with your monitor.
  • If your blood pressure readings suddenly exceed 180/120 mm Hg, wait five minutes and test again. If your readings are still unusually high, contact your doctor immediately. You could be experiencing a hypertensive crisis.
  • If your blood pressure is higher than 180/120 mm Hg and you are experiencing signs of possible organ damage such as chest pain, shortness of breath, back pain, numbness/weakness, change in vision, difficulty speaking, do not wait to see if your pressure comes down on its own. Call 911.

AHA Recommendation

The American Heart Association recommends home monitoring for all people with high blood pressure to help the healthcare provider determine whether treatments are working. Home monitoring (self-measured blood pressure) is not a substitute for regular visits to your physician. If you have been prescribed medication to lower your blood pressure, don’t stop taking your medication without consulting your doctor, even if your blood pressure readings are in the normal range during home monitoring.

Choosing a home blood pressure monitor

The American Heart Association recommends an automatic, cuff-style, bicep (upper-arm) monitor.

  • Wrist and finger monitors are not recommended because they yield less reliable readings.
  • Choose a monitor that has been validated. If you are unsure, ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice or find options at validatebp.org(link opens in new window).
  • When selecting a blood pressure monitor for a senior, pregnant woman or child, make sure it is validated for these conditions.
  • Make sure the cuff fits — measure around your upper arm and choose a monitor that comes with the correct size cuff.

Once you’ve purchased your monitor, bring it to your next appointment

Have your doctor check to see that you are using it correctly and getting the same results as the equipment in the office. Plan to bring your monitor in once a year to make sure the readings are accurate.

Home blood pressure monitoring may be especially useful for:

  • Anyone diagnosed with high blood pressure (HBP or hypertension).
  • Individuals starting high blood pressure treatment to determine its effectiveness.
  • People requiring closer monitoring, especially individuals with risk factors for high blood pressure and/or conditions  related to high blood pressure. 
  • Pregnant women, experiencing pregnancy-induced hypertension and/or preeclampsia. 
  • Evaluating potentially false readings, like:
    • People who only have high readings at the doctor’ s office (“white coat” hypertension).  
    • People who only have high readings at home but not at the doctor’ s office (“masked” hypertension).
  • NOTE: People with atrial fibrillation or other arrhythmias may not be good candidates for home monitoring because electronic home blood pressure devices may not be able to give accurate measurements. Ask your doctor to recommend a monitoring method that works for you.

Left-arm vs. right-arm blood pressure

Several studies have been done to determine what is a normal variation between right and left arm. In general, any difference of 10 mm Hg or less is considered normal and is not a cause for concern.

Why keep a blood pressure journal?

One blood pressure measurement is like a snapshot. It only tells what your blood pressure is at that moment. A record of readings taken over time provides a “time-lapse” picture of your blood pressure that can help you partner with your physician to ensure that your treatments  to lower high blood pressure  (HBP or hypertension) are working.

Blood pressure test – Mayo Clinic


A blood pressure test measures the pressure in your arteries as your heart pumps. You might have a blood pressure test as a part of a routine doctor’s appointment or as a screening for high blood pressure (hypertension). Some people use a blood pressure test at home to better track their heart health.

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Why it’s done

A blood pressure test is a routine part of most doctor appointments. Blood pressure screening is an important part of your general health. Find out when you should have a blood pressure test.

  • People age 18 and older with normal blood pressure and no heart disease risk factors should have a blood pressure test at least once every two to five years.
  • People age 40 and older — or younger with an increased risk of high blood pressure — should have a blood pressure test every year. Risk factors for high blood pressure include obesity and being Black.
  • People who have chronic health conditions, such as high or low blood pressure or heart disease, may need to have blood pressure tests more often.

Your doctor may also suggest checking your blood pressure at home. Automated home blood pressure monitors are available and easy to use. Some can be connected to your computer or cellphone, making it easy to transfer the information to an online medical record. Ask your doctor if this is an option for you.

It’s a good idea to keep a blood pressure log at home and have your doctor check your monitor once a year to make sure you are getting accurate readings.

Home blood pressure monitoring isn’t a substitute for visits to your doctor.

More Information

Show more related information


A blood pressure test is simple, quick and usually painless. However, the blood pressure cuff squeezes your arm while it inflates. Some people find this slightly uncomfortable. The feeling lasts for only a few seconds.

How you prepare

No special preparations are usually needed for a blood pressure test. But the following steps may help your doctor get the most accurate measurement:

  • Do not smoke, exercise or drink caffeinated beverages for 30 minutes to an hour before the test. Such activities increase your heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Consider wearing a short-sleeved shirt so that the blood pressure cuff can be placed more easily around your arm.
  • Relax in a chair for at least five minutes before the test.
  • Tell your doctor about the medications you take. Some drugs may affect your blood pressure.

What you can expect

During the procedure

Usually, a nurse or technician takes your blood pressure while you are seated in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.

You rest your arm on a table at the level of your heart.

The blood pressure cuff is wrapped around the top part of your arm. The bottom of the cuff is just above your elbow. It’s important that the cuff fits. Readings can vary if the cuff is too big or too small.

  • For a manual blood pressure measurement, the nurse or technician places a stethoscope over the major artery in your upper arm (brachial artery) to listen to blood flow.
  • The cuff is inflated with a small hand pump.
  • As the cuff inflates, it squeezes your arm. Blood flow through the artery stops for a moment.
  • The nurse or technician opens a valve on the hand pump to slowly release the air in the cuff and restore blood flow. He or she continues to listen to blood flow and pulse and records your blood pressure.

Some blood pressure cuffs automatically inflate and measure your pulse. In this case, a stethoscope is not needed.

It takes about one minute to get a blood pressure measurement.

After the procedure

If your blood pressure is high or low, you’ll need to have at least three more blood pressure tests, spaced at least a week apart, to determine if you need treatment. Blood pressure can vary from moment to moment and day to day.


Your doctor, nurse or technician can tell you your blood pressure results immediately after the test.

Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). A blood pressure measurement has two numbers:

  • The top number (systolic) is the pressure of the blood flow when your heart muscle contracts, pumping blood.
  • The bottom number (diastolic) is the pressure measured between heartbeats.

Here’s a look at blood pressure categories and what they mean. If your top and bottom numbers fall into two different ranges, your correct blood pressure category is the higher one.

Top number (systolic) in mm Hg And/or Bottom number (diastolic) in mm Hg Your category*
  • *Ranges may be lower for children and teenagers. Talk to your child’s doctor if you think your child might have high blood pressure.
  • †What’s considered low blood pressure can vary from person to person. The numbers given are a general guideline.
  • Source: American Heart Association
Below 90 or Below 60 Low blood pressure† (hypotension)
Below 120 and Below 80 Normal blood pressure
120-129 and Below 80 Elevated blood pressure
130-139 or 80-89 Stage 1 high blood pressure (hypertension)
140 or more or 90 or more Stage 2 high blood pressure (hypertension)

If you have high blood pressure, making a few lifestyle changes can improve your heart health.

  • Reduce salt (sodium). The American Heart Association recommends that healthy adults have no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day. Ideally, most adults should limit salt to less than 1,500 mg a day. Remember to check salt content in processed foods, such as canned soups and frozen foods.
  • Eat healthy foods. Choose fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy foods. Eat less saturated fat and total fat.
  • Limit alcohol. Alcohol can raise your blood pressure. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. For healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men.
  • If you smoke, quit. You should also try to avoid secondhand smoke.
  • Lose weight. If you’re overweight, losing even 5 pounds (2.2 kilograms) can lower your blood pressure.
  • Exercise regularly. Staying active helps lower your blood pressure and manage your weight. Most healthy adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of the two.

If lifestyle changes do not successfully manage your blood pressure, your doctor may recommend medication. If you have low blood pressure, your symptoms will depend on the cause. Together, you and your doctor can discuss the best treatment for you.

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Measuring Blood Pressure: MedlinePlus Medical Test

What do the results mean?

Your results, also known as a blood pressure reading, will contain two numbers. The top or first number is the systolic pressure. The bottom or second number is the diastolic pressure. High blood pressure readings are also labeled by categories, ranging from normal to crisis. Your reading may show your blood pressure is:

Blood Pressure Category Systolic Blood Pressure Diastolic Blood Pressure
Normal Less than 120 and Less than 80
High Blood Pressure (no other heart risk factors) 140 or higher or 90 or higher
High Blood Pressure (with other heart risk factors, according to some providers) 130 or higher or 80 or higher
Dangerously high blood pressure – seek medical care right away 180 or higher and 120 or higher

If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure, your provider may recommend lifestyle changes and/or medicines to control your blood pressure. Your provider may also recommend that you regularly check your blood pressure at home with an automated blood pressure monitor. An at-home blood pressure monitor usually includes a blood pressure cuff and a digital device to record and display blood pressure readings.

Home monitoring is not a replacement for regular visits to your provider. But it can provide important information, such as whether treatment is working or your condition may have worsened. Also, home monitoring may make the test less stressful. Many people get nervous about getting their blood pressure taken at a provider’s office. This is called “white coat syndrome.” It can cause a temporary rise in blood pressure, making the results less accurate.
For more information about home monitoring of blood pressure, talk to your provider.

If you were tested for low blood pressure, a blood pressure reading of 90 systolic, 60 diastolic (90/60) or lower is considered abnormal. Treatments for low blood pressure may include medicines and making certain changes to your diet.

High blood pressure (hypertension) – Diagnosis

High blood pressure does not usually have any symptoms, so the only way to find out if you have it is to get your blood pressure checked.

Healthy adults aged over 40 should have their blood pressure checked at least once every 5 years.

If you’re at an increased risk of high blood pressure, you should have your blood pressure checked more often, ideally once a year.

Having this done is easy and could save your life.

Where to get a blood pressure test

You can ask for a blood pressure check. You do not have to wait to be offered one.

Blood pressure testing is available:

  • at your GP surgery – by a GP, practice nurse, healthcare assistant or self-service machine
  • at some pharmacies
  • at an NHS Health Check appointment offered to adults aged 40 to 74 in England
  • in some workplaces
  • at a health event

You can also test your blood pressure at home using a home testing kit.

Having a blood pressure test

A stethoscope, arm cuff, pump and dial was normally used to measure your blood pressure, but automatic devices with sensors and digital displays are commonly used nowadays.

It’s best to sit down with your back supported and legs uncrossed for at least 5 minutes before the test.

You’ll usually need to roll up your sleeves or remove any long-sleeved clothing so the cuff can be placed around your upper arm.

Try to relax and avoid talking while the test is carried out.

During the test:

  • you hold out one of your arms so it’s at the same level as your heart, and the cuff is placed around it – your arm should be supported in this position with a cushion or the arm of a chair, for example
  • the cuff is pumped up to restrict the blood flow in your arm – this squeezing may feel a bit uncomfortable, but only lasts a few seconds
  • the pressure in the cuff is slowly released and detectors sense vibrations in your arteries – a doctor will use a stethoscope to detect these if your blood pressure is measured manually
  • the pressure in the cuff is recorded at 2 points as the blood flow starts to return to your arm – these measurements are used to give your blood pressure reading

You can usually find out your result straight away, either from the healthcare professional carrying out the test or on the digital display.

If your blood pressure is high, you may be advised to record your blood pressure using a 24-hour (ambulatory) monitoring kit or a home blood pressure monitoring kit to confirm whether you have high blood pressure.

Ambulatory (24-hour) blood pressure monitoring

Having a raised blood pressure reading in 1 test does not necessarily mean you have high blood pressure.

Blood pressure can fluctuate throughout the day. Feeling anxious or stressed when you visit your GP can also raise your blood pressure.

If you have a high reading, you may be asked to take some readings with a 24-hour monitor that checks your blood pressure throughout the day.

This will confirm whether you have consistently high blood pressure.

It’s known as 24-hour or ambulatory blood pressure monitoring.

Home blood pressure testing

Blood pressure tests can also be carried out at home using your own blood pressure monitor.

Like 24-hour or ambulatory monitoring, this can give a better reflection of your blood pressure.

It can also allow you to monitor your condition more easily in the long term.

You can buy a variety of low-cost monitors so you can test your blood pressure at home or while you’re out and about.

Measure your blood pressure twice a day, ideally in the morning and the evening, while you’re sitting down.

Each time take 2 readings, 1 minute apart. Continue to measure your blood pressure twice a day for 7 days.

Your doctor or nurse will use this information to work out your average blood pressure.

It’s important to make sure you use equipment that’s been properly tested.

The British Hypertension Society (BHS) has information about validated blood pressure monitors that are available to buy.

Understanding your blood pressure reading

Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg) and is given as 2 figures:

  • systolic pressure – the pressure when your heart pushes blood out
  • diastolic pressure – the pressure when your heart rests between beats

For example, if your blood pressure is “140 over 90”, or 140/90mmHg, it means you have a systolic pressure of 140mmHg and a diastolic pressure of 90mmHg.

As a general guide:

  • high blood pressure is considered to be 140/90mmHg or higher (or an average of 135/85mmHg at home) – or 150/90mmHg or higher (or an average of 145/85mmHg at home) if you’re over the age of 80
  • ideal blood pressure is usually considered to be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg, while the target for over-80s is below 150/90mmHg (or 145/85mmHg at home)

Blood pressure readings between 120/80mmHg and 140/90mmHg could mean you’re at risk of developing high blood pressure if you do not take steps to keep your blood pressure under control.

Page last reviewed: 23 October 2019
Next review due: 23 October 2022

How to Diagnose High Blood Pressure

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is often called a “silent disease” because you usually don’t know that you have it. There may be no symptoms or signs. Nonetheless, it damages the body and eventually may cause problems like heart disease.

Therefore, it’s important to regularly monitor your blood pressure, especially if it has ever been high or above the “normal” range, or if you have a family history of hypertension. The USPSTF recommends that all adults 18 years or older be screened for hypertension with office blood pressure measurement.

Measuring Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is most often measured with a device known as a sphygmomanometer, which consists of a stethoscope, arm cuff, dial, pump, and valve.

You can get your blood pressure measured by a health care provider, at a pharmacy, or you can purchase a blood pressure monitor for your home. Home blood pressure readings can be especially helpful in diagnosing and monitoring hypertension because they represent what is happening in the real world (rather than just at the doctor’s office). But before these numbers can be relied on for treatment decisions, it is important to bring the monitor in to your doctor’s office and have it checked against the office readings for accuracy. Blood pressure is recorded as two numbers: the systolic and diastolic pressures.

  • Systolic blood pressure is the maximum pressure during a heartbeat, when the heart is sending blood throughout the body.
  • Diastolic blood pressure is the lowest pressure between heartbeats, when the heart is filling with blood.

Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and is written systolic over diastolic (for example, 120/80 mm Hg, or “120 over 80”). According to the most recent guidelines, a normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mm Hg.  Elevated blood pressure is 120 to 129 and less than 80. Hypertension is blood pressure that is greater than 130/80. 

Blood pressure may increase or decrease, depending on your age, heart condition, emotions, activity, and the medications you take. One high reading does not mean you have high blood pressure. It is necessary to measure your blood pressure at different times, while you are resting comfortably for at least five minutes. To make the diagnosis of hypertension, at least three readings that are elevated are usually required.


In addition to measuring your blood pressure, your doctor will ask about your medical history (whether you’ve had heart problems before), assess your risk factors (whether you smoke, have high cholesterol, diabetes, etc.), and talk about your family history (whether any members of your family have had high blood pressure or heart disease).


Your doctor will also conduct a physical exam. As part of this exam, they may use a stethoscope to listen to your heart for any abnormal sounds or “murmurs” that could indicate a problem with the valves of the heart. Your doctor will also listen for a whooshing or swishing sound that could indicate your arteries are blocked.Your doctor may also check the pulses in your arm and ankle to determine if they are weak or even absent.

If you’re diagnosed with high blood pressure, your doctor may recommend other tests, such as:

  • Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG): A test that measures the electrical activity, rate, and rhythm of your heartbeat via electrodes attached to your arms, legs, and chest. The results are recorded on graph paper.
  • Echocardiogram: This is a test that uses ultrasound waves to provide pictures of the heart’s valves and chambers so the pumping action of the heart can be studied and measurement of the chambers and wall thickness of the heart can be made.

Blood Pressure Numbers and Other Exams

The USPSTF recommends all adults 18 years or older be screened for high blood pressure with an office blood pressure measurement. Your health care provider will use a blood pressure cuff (sphygmomanometer).

  • This device consists of a gauge and a rubber cuff that is placed around your arm and inflated.
  • Having your blood pressure measured is painless and takes just a few minutes.

Blood pressure (BP) is classified as follows by the American Heart Association:

  • Normal BP:  Systolic less than 120 mm Hg; diastolic less than 80
  • Elevated BP: Systolic is between 120 and 129 mm Hg; diastolic less than 80
  • Stage 1 High BP: Systolic is 130–139 mm Hg or your diastolic is between 80-89
  • Stage 2 High BP: 140 or greater systolic, or 90 or greater diastolic

Tests may be ordered by your health care provider to check for causes of high blood pressure and to assess any organ damage from high blood pressure or its treatment. These tests may include the following:

  • Blood tests, including measurement of electrolytes, blood urea nitrogen, and creatinine levels (to assess kidney involvement)
  • Lipid profile for levels of various kinds of cholesterol
  • Special tests for hormones of the adrenal gland or thyroid gland
  • Urine tests for electrolytes and hormones
  • A noninvasive, painless eye examination with an ophthalmoscope will look for ocular damage
  • Ultrasound of the kidneys, CT scan of the abdomen, or both, to assess damage or enlargement of the kidneys and adrenal glands

Any of the following may be performed to detect damage to the heart or blood vessels:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) is a noninvasive test that detects the electrical activity of the heart and records it on paper. ECG is helpful for evaluating for damage of the heart muscle, such as heart attack, and/or thickening/hypertrophy of the heart wall/muscle, common complications of high blood pressure
  • Echocardiogram is an ultrasound examination of the heart taken through the chest. Sound waves take a picture of the heart as it beats and relaxes and then transmits these images to a video monitor. The echocardiogram can detect problems with the heart such as enlargement, abnormalities in motion of the heart wall, blood clots, and heart valve abnormalities. It also gives a good measurement of the strength of the heart muscle (ejection fraction). The echocardiogram is more comprehensive than an ECG, but also more expensive.
  • A plain chest X-ray primarily provides an estimate of the size of the heart, but it is much less specific than echocardiography, which provides more detail.
  • Doppler ultrasound is used to check blood flow through arteries at pulse points in your arms, legs, hands, and feet. This is an accurate way to detect peripheral vascular disease, a common finding in people with high blood pressure. It also can depict the arteries to both kidneys and sometimes depicts narrowings that can lead to high BP in a minority of patients.


High Blood Pressure/Hypertension | Cedars-Sinai

Not what you’re looking for?

What is high blood pressure?

Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the
artery walls. The force is made with each heartbeat as blood is pumped from the
heart into the blood vessels.  This is called systolic blood pressure. Blood
pressure is also affected by the size of the artery walls and their elasticity. Each
time the heart beats (contracts and relaxes), pressure is created inside the
arteries.  When the heart is relaxed, the arteries stay at a lower resting tone to
maintain some pressure in the artery. This is called diastolic blood pressure. 

High blood pressure is when the force of the blood is too high
during heart contraction or relaxation within the arteries. The arteries may have
increased resistance against the flow of blood. This causes your heart to pump
harder to circulate the blood.

What causes high blood pressure?

These factors may cause high blood pressure:

  • Being overweight
  • Having lots of salt in your diet
  • Not getting much physical activity
  • Family history of high blood pressure
  • High stress levels
  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Kidney disease

Who is at risk for high blood pressure?

More than half of all adult Americans have high blood pressure.
You are at risk for it if you:

  • Have diabetes, gout, or kidney disease
  • Are African American, especially if you live in the
    southeastern U.S.
  • Are middle-aged or older
  • Have a family history of high blood pressure
  • Eat a lot of high-salt foods
  • Are overweight
  • Drink a lot of alcohol
  • Take birth control pills (oral contraceptives)
  • Have depression
  • Are pregnant
  • Smoke or use e-cigarettes
  • Use stimulant drugs such as cocaine or methamphetamine

What are the symptoms of high blood pressure?

High blood pressure often has no symptoms. But you can find out if
your blood pressure is higher than normal by checking it yourself or by having it
checked regularly by your healthcare provider.

Very high blood pressure can cause symptoms. These include
headache, changes in vision, or chest pain.

How is high blood pressure diagnosed?

Blood pressure is measured with a blood pressure cuff and
stethoscope by a nurse or other healthcare provider. You can also take your own
blood pressure with an electronic blood pressure monitor. You can find one at most

Two numbers are recorded when measuring blood pressure:

  • The top number is the systolic
    This is the pressure inside the artery when the heart
    contracts and pumps blood through the body.
  • The bottom number is the diastolic
    This is the pressure inside the artery when the heart is at
    rest and is filling with blood.

Both the systolic and diastolic pressures are recorded as mm Hg
(millimeters of mercury). This recording represents how high the mercury column in
the blood pressure cuff is raised by the pressure of the blood.

Blood pressure is rated as normal, elevated, or stage 1 or stage 2
high blood pressure:

  • Normal blood pressure is systolic of less than 120 and
    diastolic of less than 80 (120/80).
  • Elevated blood pressure is systolic of 120 to 129 and
    diastolic less than 80.
  • Stage 1 high blood pressure is when systolic is 130 to 139
    or diastolic is 80 to 89.
  • Stage 2 high blood pressure is when systolic is 140 or
    higher or diastolic is 90 or higher.

Even higher blood pressure (with the systolic blood pressure 180
or higher, the diastolic blood pressure more than 120, or both) is called a
hypertensive urgency if there are no related symptoms. Or it’s called a hypertensive
emergency if there are symptoms indicating damage to the brain, heart, or kidneys.
If you have a hypertensive urgency, you may need a change in your medicine right
away or be evaluated in an emergency room. If you have a hypertensive emergency, you
will need to be evaluated in an emergency room; and likely have a stay in the

A single higher blood pressure measurement does not always mean
you have a problem. Your healthcare provider will want to see several blood pressure
measurements over a number of days or weeks before diagnosing high blood pressure
and starting treatment. Ask your provider when you should call if your blood
pressure readings are not in the normal range.

How is high blood pressure treated? 

Treatment for high blood pressure may involve:

Lifestyle changes

These healthy steps can help you control your blood

  • Choose foods that are low in salt (sodium).
  • Choose foods low in calories and fat.
  • Choose foods high in fiber.
  • Stay at a healthy weight, or lose weight if you are
  • Limit serving sizes.
  • Get more exercise.
  • Drink fewer or no alcoholic beverages.
  • Reduce stress.
  • Get enough quality sleep.
  • Quit Smoking.


Sometimes you may need to take 1 or more daily medicines to
control high blood pressure. Take it exactly as directed.

If you have high blood pressure, have your blood pressure
checked routinely and see your healthcare provider to watch the condition.

What are possible complications of high blood

High blood pressure raises your risk for:

  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Kidney failure
  • Loss of eyesight
  • Death

How do I prevent high blood pressure?

You can help prevent high blood pressure with many of the same
healthy steps used to treat it. These are:

  • Cut back on salt (sodium) in your diet.
  • Eat foods that are low in calories and fat, and high in
  • Stay at a healthy weight, or losing weight if you are
  • Exercise more.
  • Stop smoking tobacco and e-cigarettes.
  • Drink fewer or no alcoholic beverages.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Don’t use stimulants or illegal drugs.

Key points about high blood pressure

  • High blood pressure is when the force of the blood pushing
    against the artery walls is too high. This causes your heart to pump harder to
    circulate the blood.
  • Risk factors include being overweight, having a family
    history of the disease, and being older.
  • There are often no symptoms.
  • Two numbers are recorded when measuring blood pressure. High
    blood pressure is when the top number (systolic pressure) is 130 or higher or
    the bottom number (diastolic pressure) is 80 or higher.
  • Lifestyle changes and medicines may help treat high blood

Next steps

Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare

  • Know the reason for your visit and what you want to
  • Before your visit, write down questions you want
  • Bring someone with you to help you ask questions and
    remember what your provider tells you.
  • At the visit, write down the name of a new diagnosis, and
    any new medicines, treatments, or tests. Also write down any new instructions
    your provider gives you.
  • Know why a new medicine or treatment is prescribed, and how
    it will help you. Also know what the side effects are.
  • Ask if your condition can be treated in other ways.
  • Know why a test or procedure is recommended and what the
    results could mean.
  • Know what to expect if you do not take the medicine or have
    the test or procedure.
  • If you have a follow-up appointment, write down the date,
    time, and purpose for that visit.
  • Know how you can contact your provider if you have

Medical Reviewer: Steven Kang MD

Medical Reviewer: Ronald Karlin MD

Medical Reviewer: Stacey Wojcik MBA BSN RN

© 2000-2021 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional’s instructions.

Not what you’re looking for?

90,000 Reading blood pressure readings

The only way to know if you have high or low blood pressure is to take your blood pressure. Understanding your results is key to keeping your blood pressure under control.

  • Systolic blood pressure (First or top number) – the maximum pressure in the arteries when the heart contracts and pushes blood into the arteries.
  • Diastolic blood pressure (Second or lower number) – shows the pressure in the arteries at the time of relaxation of the heart muscle, it reflects the resistance of peripheral vessels.

Which number is more important?

There is generally more emphasis on systolic blood pressure (first number) as the main risk factor for cardiovascular disease in people over 50. In most people, systolic blood pressure rises steadily with age due to loss of elasticity in large arteries, increased heart rate, and the development of vascular disease.

However, elevated systolic or elevated diastolic blood pressure can be used to diagnose high blood pressure.The risk of death from coronary heart disease and stroke doubles with an increase in systolic pressure of 20 mm Hg. Art. or diastolic by 10 mm Hg. Art. among people aged 40 to 89 years.

Blood pressure ranges

In our country, the norms of the European Society for the Study of Hypertension are adhered to, there are also recommendations of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation from 2020, which established the following ranges of numbers:

  • Normal – BP-systolic less than BP 120-129 mm.Hg, diastolic blood pressure less than 80-85 mm Hg
  • Highly normal – systolic blood pressure 130-139 mm Hg, diastolic blood pressure 85-89 mm Hg.
  • 1 degree – 140-159 / 90-99 mm Hg
  • 2nd degree – 160-179 / 100-109 mm Hg
  • 3 degree – more than 180/110 mm Hg

Note: The diagnosis must be confirmed by a physician. Hypertension is a disease or diagnosis, and hypertension is the very fact of an increase in blood pressure. The doctor can also assess any unusually low blood pressure readings and associated symptoms.

Normal pressure

  • Optimal blood pressure – SBP less than 120 mm Hg. Art. and / or DBP less than 80 mm Hg. Art.
  • Normal blood pressure – pressure in the SBP range of 120–129 mm Hg. Art. and / or DBP 80–84 mm Hg. Art.

If your results fall into this category, stick to heart-healthy habits such as a balanced diet and regular exercise.


High blood pressure is when the readings are consistently in the range above 140 mm.Hg for systolic and diastolic more than 90 mm Hg. Art. Measures must be taken to control this condition.

Hypertension 1 degree

1 degree of hypertension is when blood pressure constantly fluctuates systolic within 140–159 and / or diastolic above 90–99 mm Hg. Art. During this stage of high blood pressure, doctors may recommend lifestyle changes and may consider taking blood pressure medications. What you do next depends on your risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (CVD), such as heart attack or stroke, and your risk factors.

Hypertension 2 and 3 degrees

2nd degree of hypertension is when blood pressure is constantly at the level of 160/100 mm Hg. or higher. In these stages of high blood pressure, doctors may prescribe a combination of blood pressure medications and recommend immediate lifestyle changes.

Hypertensive crisis

This stage of high blood pressure requires medical attention. If your blood pressure reading suddenly exceeds 180/120 mm Hg.Art., wait five minutes, and then check the blood pressure again. If your readings are still unusually high, see your doctor right away. You may have a hypertensive crisis.

If your blood pressure is above 180/120 mm Hg. Art. and you are experiencing signs of possible organ damage such as chest pain, shortness of breath, back pain, numbness / weakness, change in vision or difficulty speaking, do not wait for the pressure to drop. Call 103

Symptoms of low pressure

Chronic low blood pressure is considered dangerous by most doctors only if it causes noticeable signs and symptoms, such as:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Fainting
  • Dehydration and unusual thirst
  • Lack of concentration
  • Blurred vision
  • Cold, clammy, pale skin
  • Rapid breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Depression

A single abnormality in blood pressure readings is not a cause for concern, unless you are experiencing any other symptoms.

Why is blood pressure measured in mm Hg? Art.

Abbreviation mmHg. Art. means millimeters of mercury. Mercury was used in the first precision pressure gauges, and the unit is still used in medicine today as the standard unit of measurement for pressure.

90,000 Blood Pressure Categories – What Do Your Metrics Mean?

The Blood Pressure Chart will help you understand if your readings are at normal and healthy levels or if you need to take action to improve your results.Normal blood pressure in women and men of any age is 120/80 mm Hg. Art.!

Blood pressure is the pressure of the blood flow against the walls of the arteries. When measuring blood pressure, two values ​​are taken into account:

  • upper or systolic blood pressure, which characterizes the pressure during the contraction of the heart at the moment when blood is pushed into the arteries,
  • lower or diastolic pressure – the pressure at the moment of relaxation of the heart and preparation for the next cycle.

To get a correct blood pressure reading, your doctor should evaluate the results based on two or more measurements taken at different doctor visits.

The table discusses healthy and unhealthy blood pressure results and their implications. If your systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings fall into two different categories, then the higher category is correct. For example, if your blood pressure is 125/85 mm Hg.Art., then you have grade 1 hypertension.

* Range may be shorter in children and adolescents. See your child’s doctor if you think your child has high blood pressure.

These guidelines only apply if high blood pressure is your only medical condition. If you also have heart disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, or other illnesses, you may need more treatment for your high blood pressure.

If you have normal blood pressure, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can prevent or slow down the onset of high blood pressure or other diseases.

How to lower the pressure?

If your blood pressure is abnormal, then a healthy lifestyle, often with medication, can help control it and reduce the risk of life-threatening complications. Clinical studies have shown that these lifestyle changes over time can significantly lower blood pressure:

  1. regular physical activity;
  2. moderate alcohol consumption;
  3. smoking cessation;
  4. reduction in salt consumption;
  5. a large amount of vegetables and fruits in the diet;
  6. low fat and other diets;
  7. weight loss.
Why do you need to measure the pressure at home?
  1. Helps diagnose high blood pressure faster than when blood pressure is measured irregularly and only in healthcare facilities. Taking home blood pressure measurements is especially important if you have high blood pressure or other medical conditions that can cause high blood pressure, such as diabetes or kidney problems.
  2. Helps evaluate the treatment plan. The only way to know if lifestyle changes or medications are effective is to have your blood pressure measured regularly.Monitoring your blood pressure at home can help your doctor make treatment decisions, such as adjusting your dose or changing your medications.
  3. Helps to strengthen a sense of responsibility for your health. You will be even more motivated to control your blood pressure if you make lifestyle changes, improve your diet, be physically active, and take your medication correctly.
  4. Helps reduce treatment costs and doctor visits.
  5. You can check if your blood pressure is different at home and at your doctor’s appointment. Some people have increased blood pressure during a doctor’s visit due to anxiety, while others, on the contrary, have normal pressure in the doctor’s office, but increased pressure elsewhere (masked hypertension). Monitoring your blood pressure at home can help determine if you really have high blood pressure.
How to measure blood pressure for yourself?
  1. Pressure is best measured in the morning and preferably at the same time.
  2. Before measuring the pressure, it is important to sit quietly at the table where you will measure the pressure for about 5-10 minutes. It should be borne in mind that stress, cold, sports, eating, caffeine, smoking or certain medications increase blood pressure, so you should avoid these factors at least half an hour before measuring blood pressure.
  3. Keep your hand at the level of your heart on the table, palm up. Sit with both feet on the floor so that you are comfortable and completely relaxed.
  4. Place the cuff of the instrument on your bare arm, approximately 2.5 cm above the elbow joint. When using an automatic device, measurements are made on the left arm. When choosing an automatic tonometer, preference should be given to a device with a cuff on the upper arm, since such devices are more accurate than those with a cuff on the forearm.
  5. Sit quietly during pressure measurement, do not talk.
  6. If the blood pressure is increased, it is necessary to measure it again, but not earlier than 5-10 minutes after the first measurement, since during this time the arteries will be compressed a little more and the result will be incorrect.


It is recommended that you record your pressure readings in the Readings section after each measurement so that you and your doctor can better assess the changes in results over time.

How to correctly measure human pressure


Published: 16 May 2019

Views: 11568

How to measure human pressure correctly?

Blood pressure is an indicator of health and well-being! Continuous monitoring of values, the only method for the diagnosis and prevention of hypertension…. How to correctly measure a person’s pressure. Automatic tonometer. Mechanical tonometer. What to do if the tonometer shows very high pressure. The concept of blood pressure (BP) means the force of blood flow to the walls of blood vessels. Indicators of its value depend on many factors. These are the forces of the blood flow emitted by the heart, the elasticity of blood vessels and even the composition of the blood. The method of measuring blood pressure is the main and most relevant method for diagnosing hypertension. It is important for every patient with arterial hypertension to know how to measure blood pressure correctly.Diagnostic skills will help control the disease and develop a disease correction program with the attending physician. Also, the ability to accurately calculate the indicator of your blood pressure gives a correct understanding of the drug effect on the body. In particular, taking medications that lower it to normal values.

Devices for measuring blood pressure diagnostics . To diagnose blood pressure at home, two types of tonometers are used: Analog tonometers or aneroid sphygmomanometers.These are instruments of the mechanical-acoustic type. They are quite simple to operate and maintain. They have a long service life, but require adjustment and calibration during long-term use. Mechanical devices record values ​​and numbers more accurately than automatic ones. Electronic tonometers. They can be both automatic and semi-automatic. These devices are designed specifically for the diagnosis of blood pressure at home. They are convenient and do not require special skills from the patient when measuring. The only drawback is a small error after frequent use.

How to measure your blood pressure correctly To improve the accuracy of measurements you need to: Before starting the diagnosis, sit in a calm atmosphere for 5 minutes; do not smoke for 30 minutes before diagnosis; BP is best measured while sitting. In this case, the patient’s hand is in a relaxed state and free of clothing. The skin should not have scars or cuts in the area of ​​the brachial artery, as well as swelling or fistula for hemodialysis; the elbow bend is placed at the level of the heart, for this they put their hand on the table just above the lumbar spine; The tonometer cuff is applied to the shoulder in such a way that its lower border is two fingers above the level of the elbow bend.The cuff itself is attached quite tightly, while it should not cause pain; Determination of blood pressure is performed twice, with an interval of 2 minutes. In the case when the readings diverge by more than 5 mm Hg. pillar, take an additional measurement. Based on the data obtained, its average value is deduced. For the first measurement, it is recommended to take the readings with both hands. After the initial reading of the indicators, the pressure is checked on the arm where its level is higher. A more difficult task is to calculate it when the heart rhythm is disturbed.In this case, it is better to entrust the removal of indicators to a medical officer. When diagnosing hypertension, it is recommended to measure blood pressure twice a day, in the morning and in the evening (at 21:00 – 22:00). It is also recorded for any signs of deterioration in the patient’s condition. The obtained indicators are recorded in a special fixation diary for further consultation with the attending physician. Automatic tonometer How to correctly measure pressure with an automatic tonometer? As practice shows, in comparison with a mechanical device, an electronic tonometer is significantly inferior in diagnostic accuracy.The electronics are more sensitive, so any minor violation in the determination of blood pressure can affect the final result. Electric tonometer Using an electronic tonometer is quite simple. It is enough to put the cuff on the arm and turn on one button on the device. Next, the automatic pumping of air into the cuff of the device will begin. In a semi-automatic device, air is blown using a pear. The reading, as well as the deflation of the cuff in both cases, is performed by the device itself.Electronic devices. Methods for measuring pressure with an electronic device: Before putting on the cuff, the shoulder of the hand is released. It is necessary to remove the sleeve of the outer garment so that it does not pinch the upper shoulder. The best option is to monitor blood pressure on both arms. For self-measurement, the cuff is placed on the non-leading arm. However, the correct reading will be on the arm with higher blood pressure than the other. The hand is placed on a flat surface; this can be done on the table or armrest of the chair.In this case, the extensor part of the forearm is on the surface, and the limb is in a relaxed state. Check the status of the electronic device. It must not be damaged, kinked or kinked on the surface of the hose. Detach the edges of the cuff. Put it on the shoulder using the circular wrapping method, just above (two fingers) from the elbow bend. In this case, the air supply hose should pass exactly in the middle between the conditional line of the middle of the bend of the elbow and the middle finger of the hand. If the device cuff is marked with an insertion line, position it so that it is centered inside the shoulder surface.Start the device by pressing the button. Wait for the device to pump and deflate. Be relaxed and do not touch the device. Numbers will appear on the display of the device. The upper indicator is responsible for systolic pressure, the lower one for diastolic pressure. Many devices also record heart rate. This value will be displayed below the others. In this case, the diastolic blood pressure will be located above the pulse, in the middle column. Turn off the device through the button and wait until it turns off completely. Remove the cuff from the shoulder.Diagnostics completed! An automatic tonometer is very convenient and should be present at home for every hypertensive patient. Mechanical tonometer How to correctly measure pressure with a mechanical tonometer? The use of an analog device is somewhat difficult for an inexperienced patient. Not every person understands the first time how to correctly take readings using a mechanical tonometer. mechanical tonometer To determine the exact blood pressure, a phonendoscope is used. This device is designed to listen to sound vibrations that are produced during the work of internal organs.The device itself consists of ear tips, conductive tubes that fix vibrations and “heads” with a sensitive membrane. When measuring blood pressure with an analog device, the phonendoscope helps to hear fluctuations in blood flow when the cuff is loose or squeezed. In this case, the scale of the device helps to determine the moment of the onset of pulsation and attenuation of blood pressure in conjunction with the appearance of sound “jolts” in the phonendoscope. Recommendations for determining blood pressure with a hand-held tonometer: Before the measurement procedure, you must relax for 5 minutes.If you come from a cold place, you should completely warm up. Take a seat on a chair with a back and relax your legs without crossing them together. Lying is also not recommended. The shoulder girdle and arms should be relaxed. Place your hand, brush up, on the table surface, at about heart level. Place the cuff on your arm so that one finger fits between it and the surface of the forearm. The lower edge of the cuff should be 2.5 cm higher from the elbow bend. Set the dial of the pressure gauge in line of sight so that its scale is clearly visible.Place the stethoscope on the elbow, holding it, slightly adjusting the head to the edge of the cuff. Start pumping air by hand squeezing the pear. Listen carefully until the first shocks appear (the first stage according to Korotkov). They will show the level of systolic pressure. Repeat the inflation process again until the systolic blood pressure is more than 30 mm Hg. Art. Let go of the pear. The moment the tones disappear will indicate diastolic blood pressure. Repeat the entire process after a few minutes. Print the average between the two readings on the device.In case of heart rhythm disturbance, it is better to entrust the measurement of pressure to a medical worker. What to do if the tonometer shows a very high pressure In this case, take two control measurements in 10 minutes! When re-identifying high blood pressure and poor health of the patient, it is necessary: ​​Hypertensive patients – urgently take the drug. Healthy people – call an ambulance

How to measure blood pressure correctly

Why is blood pressure measurement so important?

Since high blood pressure is not always noticeable, a person can live with such pressure for many years.However, if untreated, high blood pressure can lead to serious illnesses that are only recognized when the first effects begin. The danger can only be recognized with regular monitoring of blood pressure. Self-measurement of blood pressure in a familiar setting reflects blood pressure under normal conditions, as opposed to measurements made by a doctor in a clinic.

Why do I get different readings when I measure my blood pressure several times a day?

Since the heart rate changes constantly throughout the day, one blood pressure measurement shows one value at a single moment.From heartbeat to heartbeat, human pressure changes about 100,000 times a day. Only regular measurements at the same time of day and under the same conditions can give comparable indicators and can be used to compare different blood pressure values.

Why should BP always be measured at the same time of day?

Many functions of the human body are subject to daily biorhythms that have similar characteristics when environmental conditions are similar.So blood pressure is subject to constant daily biorhythms: it rises in the morning, shortly before getting out of bed, falls in the afternoon and rises again when evening comes. The lowest blood pressure is observed at night. In order to compare the blood pressure readings with one another, measurements must be made at the same time. Measurements taken in the morning cannot be compared with evening readings.

Why does my doctor get completely different results than I do at home?

Blood pressure readings can be compared with one another only if both measurements were taken when you were in a relaxed state and always at the same time of day.Studies have shown that 25% of people have higher readings in the doctor’s office than at home. This phenomenon has been called the “white coat effect” or “white coat hypertension.” This is not a disease, since high blood pressure in this case is due to a stressful situation and nervousness during a visit to the doctor. However, such elevated blood pressure readings may be the first indicator of impending hypertension in the future.

My blood pressure monitor gives different results all the time.

Blood pressure is not a constant value, as it depends on the mental and physical condition at a particular moment, time of day and measurement conditions.Therefore, you must measure blood pressure under the same conditions, i.e. try to measure blood pressure at the same time of the day and rest at least 5 minutes before. However, for many people, the pressure rises even though they rest. In this case, it is recommended to measure blood pressure two or three times at intervals of 1 minute and take the average between these measurements. If you are still confused by something, contact your local RosTest office or Metrological laboratory to check your device.

What can I do to prevent external factors from influencing the measurement results?

  1. Avoid alcohol and nicotine for one hour before measurement.
  2. Do not drink coffee immediately before measurement.
  3. The bladder must be empty before measurement. A full bladder increases the pressure by about 10 mmHg.
  4. Do not measure blood pressure if you are experiencing stress, pain or fear. These factors can alter BP.
  5. Make sure that the cuff is worn correctly during measurement. When measuring blood pressure at the shoulder, the border of the cuff should be 2.5 cm above the bend of the elbow.When measuring blood pressure at the wrist, place the cuff 1 cm above the wrist fold.
  6. When measuring blood pressure on the wrist or shoulder, make sure that the measurement site is at the level of the heart – if the position is shifted by 1.5 cm, – the pressure increases by 1 mmHg.
  7. Relax the arm muscles during measurement. Muscle tension increases the pressure by approximately 10 mmHg.
  8. Do not speak during measurement. A conversation during measurement can increase the pressure by 6-7 mm Hg.Art.
  9. The upper arm should not be pinched by clothing when measuring blood pressure on the shoulder. It is best to remove all clothing from the shoulder.
  10. Before measuring on the upper arm, make sure that you are wearing the cuff correctly. If you can slip 2 fingers under the cuff at the top and bottom, you can start measuring. If the cuff is too loose or too tight, the results will be either too high or too low, respectively.
  11. Rest for at least 1 minute before taking another measurement.
  12. Remember that blood pressure is subject to daily biorhythms and can change depending on the time of day and the needs of the body at a particular moment. To obtain comparable results, the best solution is to measure the pressure at the same time of day.

What does high blood pressure mean?

The World Health Organization (WHO) has adopted a new classification of blood pressure levels:

Optimum level <120/80
Normal <130/85
Mild hypertension 140-159 / 90-99

Moderate hypertension 160-179 / 100-109

Severe hypertension> 180 and> 110 90 003

Is it possible to measure with an oscillometric method with a pacemaker?

In principle, oscillometric measurement is possible in patients with an implanted pacemaker.However, the work of the pacemaker is not captured by the function of determining the pulse of the electronic tonometer. If you get meaningless results or the “ERR” symbol on the screen during the measurement – this is not due to the physiological heart rate, which is set by the pacemaker. In these cases, oscillometric blood pressure measurement is problematic and it is better to measure blood pressure using the Korotkoff method (with a stethoscope or microphone). In any case, you should consult your doctor.

What should be done if a person has a pathological rhythm disturbance? How to measure blood pressure?

It is not possible to give general recommendations as there are a large number of different heart rhythm pathologies that must be considered individually.In principle, oscillometric instruments can accurately measure pressure when pulse signals are discernible. In some arrhythmias, eg irregular heart rate, absolute arrhythmia, oscillometric measurement is not possible due to “lost” and very irregular pulse signals. In this case, a stethoscope should be used. With milder forms or rare episodes of arrhythmia, oscillometric measurement is possible. In case of doubt, measurements should be taken several times at 1-minute intervals and the average of several measurements should be taken.However, each case is different and the details should be discussed with your doctor.

What should you pay attention to when measuring blood pressure during pregnancy?

High blood pressure during pregnancy is noted in about 10% of expectant mothers. Such cases need to be identified and carefully treated. Self-measurement of blood pressure during pregnancy is recommended for every pregnant woman and should be performed both by a doctor during the consultation and at home.

Can I change the dosage of medications based on my blood pressure readings?

Finding the right combination of suitable drugs for the hypertensive patient requires an individualized treatment plan. You should never independently change the dosage of the drug taken and prescribed by the doctor. Regular readings of your blood pressure provide your doctor with valuable information to optimize your individual treatment plan. Record your measurements carefully in a blood pressure diary and discuss possible drug dosage changes with your doctor.

Should I see a doctor regularly if I measure my blood pressure at home?

Regular measurements of blood pressure at home will allow your doctor to assess the profile and dynamics of your blood pressure over several weeks or months and thereby allow an optimal change in the therapy plan. Measuring blood pressure at home is not a substitute for required doctor visits.

Why is it necessary to record indicators in a personal BP diary?

A single blood pressure measurement is only a one-time reading and does not provide an accurate picture of blood pressure levels over the course of a day or several days.Therefore, you should measure your blood pressure two or three times a day, always at the same time. Record the results along with the date and time and medications taken in your blood pressure diary. Blood pressure values ​​recorded over a long period of time will provide your doctor with a valuable base for the selection of individual therapy.

Why may the first blood pressure reading be different from the previous one?

This is due to the “habituation” of the artery to compression. However, it should be borne in mind that the first blood pressure measurement result is rarely true.

Which model is better for an elderly person with hypertension?

Automatic model for measuring blood pressure on the shoulder (but not on the wrist). In older adults, the BP measured at the wrist may differ from the BP measured at the brachial artery due to atherosclerosis.

When measuring pressure several times in a row, each subsequent reading is lower than the previous one. Why?

The cause is blood stasis resulting from too short intervals between measurements.It is enough to increase the intervals between measurements to allow blood circulation to be restored.

Back to section

The doctor told how to measure pressure without a tonometer

MOSCOW, 23 Feb – PRIME. Sometimes people are faced with a situation when it is necessary to measure pressure without a tonometer. Advances in modern technology and medicine have greatly simplified the task. It is possible to determine the pressure without a tonometer using electric specialized devices and applications for a smartphone, Anastasia Ataman, a therapist of the CM-Clinic, told the Prime agency.

The physician told how the severity of COVID depends on the blood group

“The simplest and most accessible way for everyone to find out blood pressure (BP) readings without a tonometer is a reference to the pulse. To carry out this procedure, you will need a watch with a second hand or a mobile phone with a built-in stopwatch. However, such methods of measuring pressure are not considered accurate among specialists. “- says the doctor.

She also noted that it is necessary to pay attention to the circumstances and related factors.For example, it is not recommended to measure blood pressure after physical exertion and stressful situations that contribute to an increase in heart rate.

Low pressure is considered to be below 100 per 70 mm Hg. For him, the following symptoms are most often characteristic: weakness, fatigue, drowsiness, sluggishness, headache in the temporal region, dizziness, nausea, Ataman lists.

When a person has high blood pressure, the readings will exceed 130/90 mm Hg.The doctor identifies several characteristic symptoms of hypertension: pain in the occipital region, a feeling of pulsation and pressure on the skull, dizziness with a sharp movement of the head, possibly a sharp visual impairment, vomiting, hearing impairment, the manifestation of the so-called ringing in the ears.

The doctor explained when a protective mask can harm

In this case, you should not 100% trust this or that symptom when determining blood pressure. The individual characteristics of each organism, concomitant diseases, and the influence of external factors are of great importance.Ataman recommends knowing the parameters of your blood pressure even for people with absolutely stable health.

“As you know, during the day, blood pressure periodically changes depending on the functional activity of the heart. In medicine, this is called a” working “indicator of the blood state. Within the normal range, blood pressure is considered to be 120/80 mm Hg. Every healthy person needs to control his blood pressure at least once a month “, – concluded the therapist.

Blood pressure measurement in dogs and cats

At the Constellation Veterinary Center, you can measure the pressure of a cat, dog and even a rodent.The pressure is measured with a special veterinary tonometer. You can take a measurement at any time, the veterinary clinic works around the clock.

It is believed that cats and dogs are not exposed to the stress that their owners experience, usually their food does not contain much salt and is not as fatty as ours. Why can dogs and cats have high blood pressure?

Blood pressure in dogs and cats

Everyone knows that blood pressure indicators are extremely important for our health.Medical doctors recommend regularly measuring it and taking action in case of a deviation from the norm.

How important is blood pressure measurement in cats and dogs?

It is believed that cats and dogs are not exposed to the stress that their owners experience, usually their food does not contain much salt and is not as fatty as ours. Why can dogs and cats have high blood pressure?

In fact, high blood pressure (hypertension) occurs in dogs and cats more often than we are used to thinking.

Primary hypertension is most common in humans, for example, due to changes in the weather, i.e. not caused by any disease. In cats and dogs, hypertension often develops secondary hypertension, which appears against the background of another disease.

What blood pressure is considered normal in dogs and cats?

A person has a normal blood pressure of 120 to 80, which means a systolic pressure of 120 mm Hg (mm Hg) and a diastolic pressure of 80 mm. rt st.Systolic pressure shows the highest blood pressure in the body, while diastolic pressure is the lowest during heartbeat.

Blood pressure in dogs varies depending on their size. The larger the animal, the higher the indicators will be. It should also be borne in mind that the table contains indications for the animal at rest. If the dog was under stress before measuring the pressure, the pressure will be higher. Also, the stress caused by the visit to the veterinary clinic may affect the indications.

Normal blood pressure in dogs
Breed of dogs Systolic pressure, mm. rt. Art. Diastolic pressure, mm. rt. Art.
Labrador Retriever 118 ± 17 66 ± 13
Golden Retriever 122 ± 14 70 ± 11
Pyrenean Mountain Dog 120 ± 16 66 ± 6
Yorkshire Terrier 121 ± 12 69 ± 13
West Highland Terrier 126 ± 6 83 ± 7
Border Collie 131 ± 14 75 ± 12
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel 131 ± 16 72 ± 14
German Shepherd 132 ± 13 75 ± 10
Terrier 136 ± 16 76 ± 12
Bull Terrier 134 ± 12 77 ± 17
Chihuahua 134 ± 9 84 ± 12
Miniature dog breeds 136 ± 13 74 ± 17
Pomeranian 136 ± 12 76 ± 13
Beagle 140 ± 15 79 ± 13
Tax 142 ± 10 85 ± 15
Saluki 143 ± 16 88 ± 10
Greyhound 149 ± 20 87 ± 16
Pointer 145 ± 17 83 ± 15
Normal blood pressure in cats
Breed of cats Systolic pressure, mm.rt. Art. Diastolic pressure, mm. rt. Art.
All cats 124 ± 16 80 ± 14

Why do you need to measure blood pressure in dogs and cats?

When a dog or cat develops hypertension (high blood pressure), the vessels become very narrow and cannot pump the required volume of blood. As an example, if you connect a regular watering hose to a fire hydrant, it will wriggle under pressure and may even burst.The same thing happens with the vessels.

As a rule, the affected vessels in pets are small, so that bleeding and a lack of blood in the feeding area may not be noticed for a long time until the problem becomes too large. The same thing happens in people – it is not for nothing that hypertension is called the “silent killer.”

What can happen to a cat or dog with high blood pressure?

Hypertensive dogs and cats have an increased risk of damage to internal organs.It is quite common that the eyes are affected, which can lead to sudden or gradual blindness in a dog or cat. The owner can detect damage by dilated pupils that do not respond to light, or when the pet stops noticing obstacles, “bumping” into them.

The kidneys, liver and brain are also affected by high blood pressure: kidney problems intensify, heart failure occurs, and the risk of heart attack increases.

There are a number of diseases associated with high blood pressure in dogs and cats:

  • Chronic renal failure
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Obesity
  • Heart disease
  • Hyperthyroidism (cats)
When Should I Measure Blood Pressure in Dogs and Cats?

If the dog has any of the above problems, if there are visual or nervous system problems, regular blood pressure measurements are recommended.

Elderly animals are recommended to measure blood pressure when clarifying any diagnosis.

How to measure blood pressure in a dog or cat?

Conventional blood pressure monitors (blood pressure monitors) are not suitable for dogs and cats. The fact is that often the size of animals and the coat do not allow the use of tonometers used in human medicine. Even blood pressure monitors specially designed for measuring blood pressure in babies are not suitable for cats and dogs.

We use a special veterinary blood pressure monitor PetMap Graphic II to measure blood pressure in dogs and cats.This tonometer is specially designed for animals. The set of cuffs allows you to measure pressure and heart rate (pulse) both in the smallest kittens and puppies, as well as in large dogs with long hair.

The blood pressure monitor for dogs and cats measures blood pressure with high accuracy (± 2 mm Hg) in the following ranges:

  • systolic 40-265 mm. rt. Art.
  • diastolic 25-195 mm. rt. Art.

The tonometer also measures heart rate in the range of 40 to 220 beats per minute.

What if my cat or dog has high blood pressure?

Depending on the severity of the condition, the type of animal and associated diseases, the veterinarian will prescribe a drug for the treatment of hypertension in animals.

It is important to remember that high blood pressure in pets is often the cause of other diseases; a simple decrease in it usually does not lead to a solution to the problem as a whole. That is why a full-fledged diagnosis of the animal’s condition is necessary, where pressure measurement is only one of the procedures.

Veterinarians recommend regular blood pressure measurements in animals

Blood pressure readings are extremely important for the health of dogs and cats. Veterinarians recommend regularly measuring it and taking the necessary measures in case of a deviation from the norm.

When a dog or cat develops hypertension (increased pressure), the walls of the vessels thicken, and the vessels themselves become very narrow and cannot pump the required volume of blood.In most cases, the affected vessels in pets are small, so bleeding and a lack of blood in the nourished area can be invisible for a long time until the problem becomes too large.

It is important to remember that high blood pressure can occur against a background of diseases such as:

  • Chronic renal failure and kidney disease
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Obesity
  • Heart disease
  • Problems with the thyroid gland.

Dogs and cats with hypertension have an increased risk of damage to internal organs. Kidney problems intensify, heart failure occurs, and the risk of heart attack and stroke increases.

Clinical signs of hypertension in animals can be different: weakness, ataxia, loss of the ability to navigate in the environment, dysfunctions of the vestibular apparatus, convulsions, heart palpitations, shortness of breath. Also, hypertension is quite often the cause of eye damage, which can lead to sudden or gradual blindness in an animal.The pet owner can detect damage by dilated pupils that do not respond to light, or when the pet stops noticing obstacles, “bumping” into them.

It is recommended to regularly measure blood pressure for animals over 5 years old, as well as for pets with obesity, diabetes mellitus or who have problems with vision, kidneys, and nervous system.

A simple decrease in pressure, as a rule, does not lead to a solution to the problem as a whole, therefore, a full diagnosis of the animal’s health is necessary.Depending on the severity of the condition, the type of animal and associated diseases, the veterinarian will prescribe a drug intended for the treatment of hypertension in animals.

Lowering blood pressure is also dangerous and may result from shock, bleeding, diarrhea, dilated cardiomyopathy, heart failure. Therefore, blood pressure measurements are carried out in animals not only with suspected heart muscle disease, but also with many other pathologies, since both a decrease and an increase in blood pressure can lead to adverse consequences and require drug treatment.

A special veterinary tonometer is used to measure blood pressure in dogs and cats. For a dog or cat, a cuff is put on its paw or tail, which is connected to the electronic unit. After air is pumped into the cuff and then it is released, the measurement results appear on the screen.

The method is quite accurate and absolutely safe. The only drawback is that the animal must be calm , which is sometimes difficult in a clinic, since dogs and cats can be afraid of doctors.If the animal is very worried about , you can get deliberately high blood pressure values. Therefore, it is recommended to carry out the measurement several times.

In state veterinary clinics in Moscow, you can always measure blood pressure for your pet, as well as undergo a complete cardiological examination , including a cardiologist’s appointment, echocardiography, radiography and ECG.

During the period of general self-isolation, state veterinary clinics in the city of Moscow operate normally and provide a full range of services.