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What Is Blood Pressure And How Is It Measured

D Typing Of Hypertension

What is blood pressure? How is it measured?

About 90% of hypertension is essential hypertension. The diagnosis of essential hypertension is made by the exclusion of secondary hypertension. Essential hypertension includes white coat hypertension , in which hypertension is observed only in a medical setting . The diagnosis of white coat hypertension is made by home blood pressure measurement and ABPM, as well as by measurement of blood pressure at the clinic. The frequency of isolated systolic hypertension increases in elderly people, because systolic blood pressure increases whereas diastolic blood pressure often decreases due to a reduced compliance of the aorta caused by atherosclerosis. Several studies, including the Framingham Study, Ohasama Study and Hisayama Study,54,109,110,115,116 showed that isolated systolic hypertension is a strong risk factor for cerebral and myocardial infarction in elderly people. Isolated systolic hypertension in the elderly is classified into the burned-out type, caused by a decrease in diastolic blood pressure in essential hypertension, and the de novo type, caused by a novel elevation of systolic blood pressure in old age.

What’s The Difference Between Blood Pressure And Pulse

While your blood pressure is the force of your blood moving through your blood vessels, your heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute.

  • They are two separate measurements and indicators of health.
  • For people with high blood pressure;, theres no substitute for measuring blood pressure.

C Risk Stratification For Evaluation Of The Prognosis

In addition to blood pressure, the presence or absence of other risk factorssmoking, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia such as high low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, obesity , chronic kidney disease , old age, family history of premature cardiovascular diseasehypertensive target organ damage and cardiovascular disease should be evaluated. As the risk for cerebrovascular and cardiovascular disease increases with prolongation of the follow-up period even in low- and moderate-risk patients, attention must also be paid to the duration of hypertension.125

Metabolic syndrome based on the diagnostic criteria for the Japanese126 was added as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease in the Guidelines. However, in , metabolic syndrome is mentioned from a preventive point of view. As established diabetes mellitus is a strong independent risk factor, it is mentioned separately in . In these Tables, metabolic syndrome is defined as a condition with a high-normal or higher blood pressure, and obesity as an essential factor concurrent with abnormal glucose level or dyslipidemia.

Although the 1999 WHO/ISH Guidelines,62 2003 ESH-ESC Guidelines61 and 2007 ESH-ESC Guidelines66 stratified hypertensive patients into low-, middle-, high- and very high-risk groups according to risk factors, they proposed the same therapeutic strategy for high- and very high-risk groups.

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Variations In Blood Pressure

Your blood pressure changes to meet your bodys needs. If a reading is high, your doctor may measure your blood pressure again on several separate occasions to confirm the level.;

Your doctor may also recommend that you measure your blood pressure at home or have a 24-hour recording with a monitoring device.;

How Do I Choose A Blood Pressure Monitor

Measuring blood pressure

The first step in measuring your blood pressure at home is getting a blood pressure monitorone that is accurate, fitted, validated, and works for your lifestyle. These are some things you should consider:

  • Get an arm cuff Devices come in many styles these days, including ones that attach to your arm and ones that attach at your wrist. Wrist cuffs can be attractive because you dont need to roll up your sleeves to use them, but they tend to give inaccurate measurements. Go with an arm cuff instead.

  • Choose the right cuff size The wrong cuff size can lead to inaccurate blood pressure readings. Larger cuffs are better for larger arms, and smaller cuffs are better for smaller arms. Make sure you get a size that fits you.

  • Make sure the device is right for your age Devices are specific to age. Some are meant for older people, and some are meant for children. As an aside, some are even meant for women who are pregnant. Make sure to get one thats right for you.

  • Make sure the device is validated It may be tempting to just buy the cheapest device on the internet, but you may end up with a blood pressure device that isnt approved or validated for taking an accurate measurement. Make sure yours is validated.

  • Newer blood pressure devices with Bluetooth integration allow you to conveniently track your blood pressure measurements through an app. This feature makes it easy to share your records with your doctor , but it usually comes at a price.

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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 . Your feet should be flat on the floor and your legs should not be crossed. Your arm should be supported on a flat surface 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. Its 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 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.
and/or HIGHER THAN 120

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.

When To Call The Doctor

If the;systolic blood pressure; is:; above ______ or below ______for ______ blood pressure readings or for ______ hours.

If the;diastolic blood pressure; is:; above ______ or below ______for ______ blood pressure readings or for _______ hours.Other instructions: __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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Blood Pressure Differences Between Arms

Finding blood pressure differences between arms can be a sign of atherosclerosis, which is basically plaque buildup in arteries. Finding a difference in pressure between sides of the body tells doctors that they need to investigate further to see if atherosclerosis is in the main blood vessel leaving the heart or in other parts of the body.

One study published in the medical journal The Lancet stated that a blood pressure difference of 10 to 15 points between arms increases the risk of dying from heart disease or a stroke.

A small difference in blood pressure between arms is nothing to panic about. A large difference could signal health problems that include not only plaque buildup, but also kidney disease, diabetes, and heart defects.

Related:;Fluctuating blood pressure: Causes and treatments

Variable Or Fluctuating Blood Pressure

What is blood pressure and how is it measured?

Some fluctuation or variation in blood pressure is normal. Variations in pressure that are significantly greater than the norm are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease brain small vessel disease, and dementia independent of the average blood pressure level. Recent evidence from clinical trials has also linked variation in blood pressure to stroke, heart failure, and cardiac changes that may give rise to heart failure. These data have prompted discussion of whether excessive variation in blood pressure should be treated, even among normotensive older adults. Older individuals and those who had received blood pressure medications are more likely to exhibit larger fluctuations in pressure, and there is some evidence that different antihypertensive agents have different effects on blood pressure variability; whether these differences translate to benefits in outcome is uncertain.

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Blood Pressure Differences When Lying Down Standing Up And Sitting

Written byDr. Victor MarchionePublished onMay 6, 2016

Accurate blood pressure measurements, including blood pressure differences when lying down versus standing up and sitting can be very helpful when healthcare providers are trying to monitor the condition. However, its important to understand the impact that each position has on blood pressure levels.

There are three common positions that healthcare workers use when taking someones blood pressure. Taking blood pressure lying down is the obvious method used when a patient is hospitalized, but in a doctors office a patient is usually sitting in a chair. Some nurses also measure blood pressure while a person is standing.

Records show that diastolic pressure is about 55mm/Hg lower when taking blood pressure lying down vs. sitting.Systolic pressure is approximately 88 mm/Hg in the lying down position versus the sitting position, but only when the person taking the measurement positions the patients arm so that it is at the same level as the right atrium of the heart.

People should also be conscious of the fact thatblood pressure readings are different if you are in a sitting position with your legs crossed. It actually increases systolic pressure by as much as 8mm/Hg.

A Blood Pressure Measurement In The Outpatient Clinic

Correct measurement of blood pressure is necessary for the diagnosis of hypertension. In a clinical setting , blood pressure is measured by the auscultation method using a mercury or aneroid sphygmomanometer, or using an automatic sphygmomanometer that has been calibrated by the auscultation method, and maintaining the arm-cuff position at the heart level. Nowadays, the use of a mercury sphygmomanometer is often avoided, especially in Europe, because of the possibility of environmental pollution by mercury. shows the standard procedure for sphygmomanometry. Although clinic blood pressure measurement is still regarded as a standard for the diagnosis of hypertension, its clinical value has been questioned in various aspects. Clinic blood pressure measurement, in strict accordance with the procedure shown in , is known to more accurately reflect the true blood pressure than data obtained by disregarding this procedure, and is found to have a clinical value at least comparable to that of ambulatory blood pressure monitoring or home blood pressure measurement. However, blood pressure is rarely measured in accordance with such a guideline in a screening or clinical setting. In addition, the accuracy of measurement is often disregarded or ignored.

Table 1 Measurement of the clinic blood pressure

In pregnant women, Korotkoff sounds are occasionally heard at 0mmHg. In this case, the blood pressure at the fourth Korotkoff sound is regarded as the diastolic pressure.

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When To Call Your Doctor

A hypertensive crisisdefined as blood pressure above 180/120 mm Hgrequires immediate medical attention. Call 911 if you are also experiencing symptoms such as chest pain, back pain, shortness of breath, difficulty speaking, a change in vision, weakness, or numbness.

Blood Pressure Thats Too Low

Blood Pressure Measurement

Low blood pressure is known as hypotension. In adults, a blood pressure reading of 90/60 mm Hg or below is often considered hypotension. This can be dangerous because blood pressure that is too low doesnt supply your body and heart with enough oxygenated blood.

Some potential causes of hypotension can include:

  • heart problems

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When To Check Blood Pressure

  • If your blood pressure is normal , get it checked every year, or more often as your doctor suggests.
  • If your blood pressure is elevated — a systolic blood pressure between 120 and 129 or diastolic blood pressure of less than 80 — your doctor will probably want to check it every 3-6 months. They will probably recommend lifestyle changes like more exercise and a better diet.
  • If you have stage 1 hypertension — 130-139 over 89-90 — the doctor might suggest lifestyle changes and see you again in 3-6 months. Or they could tell you to make the changes and give you medication, then recheck your condition in a month. It depends on what other health conditions or risk factors you have.
  • If you have stage 2 hypertension — 140/90 or higher — youâll likely get medication. You’ll also need to make lifestyle changes and see the doctor again in a month.

Digital Blood Pressure Monitors

Digital blood pressure monitors are often used on the wrist, but they can also be placed on the finger or upper arm and are activated simply by pressing a button. They read the blood pressure automatically based on variations in the volume of blood in the arteries. When taking blood pressure measurements on the wrist, it’s important to keep the hand level with the heart. Otherwise it can affect the readings.

Digital meters can sometimes be inaccurate and produce unreliable readings anyway especially in people with certain heart rhythm problems or arteries that have hardened due to arteriosclerosis.

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The Teaching Plan Is An Education Program

ways to control hypertension, importance of blood pressure medications and being compliance, how to measure a blood pressure, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension Plan, importance of exercising, and complications seen from uncontrolled hypertension. Handouts are given to the patient to reinforce instruction. The patient will be taught how to properly take a blood pressure and where blood pressure monitors can be purchase. The patient will then show

How Do I Get An Accurate Blood Pressure Reading

Risk Factors for Heart Disease: Blood Pressure

Once youve chosen a validated blood pressure monitor that fits your needs, youll still need to take an accurate reading with it. The best way to learn is to bring it with you to your next doctors visit, so your doctor can show you how to use it correctly. In general, these are good things to keep in mind when measuring your blood pressure at home:

  • Sit in a chair with a firm back, keeping your back straight and your legs flat on the ground and uncrossed.

  • Rest for 5 minutes or more before measuring your blood pressure.

  • Keep your arm at heart level and on a flat surface such as a table.

  • Place the blood pressure cuff around your arm so that its touching your skin. Do not put the cuff over clothing.

  • Take two measurements at least 1 minute apart in the morning before taking medications, and take two measurements at least 1 minute apart in the evening before supper. Be sure to do this at the same times each day. Your doctor may also ask you to take additional measurements depending on your specific health concerns.

  • If youve been exercising and need a measurement of your normal blood pressure, rest for at least 30 minutes before taking your reading.

  • Do not smoke or drink caffeinated beverages like coffee, soda, or tea if youre planning to take a blood pressure reading in the next 30 minutes.

Other helpful resources

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Choosing A Blood Pressure Monitor

If you’re planning to take your blood pressure at home, it’s important to have a reliable blood pressure monitor. The AHA recommends an automatic, cuff-style, bicep monitor, but there are other options.

When selecting a blood pressure monitor, consider the following:

  • Fit:;To ensure a proper fit, measure around your upper arm and choose a monitor that comes with the correct size cuff.;
  • Number of people:;If more than one person will be using the monitor, make sure to choose one that fits everyone.
  • Features:;Some blood pressure monitors offer extra tech features, like Bluetooth and app connectivity. If you don’t think you’ll benefit from these extras, go ahead and choose one that is efficient, easy to use, and more affordable.;
  • Budget:;High-quality blood pressure monitors vary dramatically in price, from around $25 to well over $100. Keep in mind that a good monitor is a great investment and that you will be using it daily for several years.;
  • Other considerations:;The AHA notes that when selecting a blood pressure monitor for a senior, pregnant person, or child, you should make sure it is validated for these conditions.

If you need help selecting an at-home device, check out these blood pressure monitors, which were vetted by the Verywell team based on the above criteria.

Systemic Arterial Pressure And Age

Fetal blood pressure

In pregnancy, it is the fetal heart and not the mother’s heart that builds up the fetal blood pressure to drive blood through the fetal circulation. The blood pressure in the fetal aorta is approximately 30;mmHg at 20 weeks of gestation, and increases to approximately 45;mmHg at 40 weeks of gestation.

The average blood pressure for full-term infants:

  • Systolic 6595;mmHg
95140 6090

In children, the normal ranges for blood pressure are lower than for adults and depend on height. Reference blood pressure values have been developed for children in different countries, based on the distribution of blood pressure in children of these countries.

Aging adults

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What Happens During A Blood Pressure Test

A blood pressure test includes the following steps:

  • You will sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  • You will rest your arm on a table or other surface, so your arm is level with your heart. You may be asked to roll up your sleeve.
  • Your provider will wrap a blood pressure cuff around your arm. A blood pressure cuff is a strap-like device. It should fit snugly around your upper arm, with the bottom edge placed just above your elbow.
  • Your provider will inflate the blood pressure cuff using a small hand pump or by pressing a button on an automated device.
  • Your provider will measure the pressure manually or with an automated device.
  • If manually, he or she will place a stethoscope over the major artery in your upper arm to listen to the blood flow and pulse as the cuff inflates and deflates.
  • If using an automated device, the blood pressure cuff automatically inflates, deflates, and measures pressure.
  • As the blood pressure cuff inflates, you’ll feel it tighten around your arm.
  • Your provider will then open a valve on the cuff to slowly release air from it. As the cuff deflates, blood pressure will fall.
  • As the pressure falls, a measurement is taken when the sound of blood pulsing is first heard. This is the systolic pressure.
  • As the air continues to be let out, the blood pulsing sound will start to go away. When it completely stops, another measurement is taken. This is the diastolic pressure.
  • This test only takes about one minute to complete.


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