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Learn to check your blood pressure at home

Home blood pressure monitoring can help your self-care efforts.

  • Learn to check your own blood pressure or have a family member or friend learn.
  • When buying a device, consider the size of the cuff, how easy it is to read the gauge and hear with the stethoscope, how clear the written instructions are, and whether special care or maintenance is required. (See an illustration of a blood pressure cuff .) Ask your doctor or nurse to check the monitor to make sure it works right.
  • Check your blood pressure at several different times of day to see how your daily activities may affect your blood pressure.
  • Keep records of your home blood pressure measurements and bring them to your next doctor's visit.
  • Compare the blood pressure measurements taken at home with those taken in your doctor's office at least once a year (or more often if your home measurements are very different from those obtained by your health professional).
Author Robin Parks, MS
Editor Kathleen M. Ariss, MS
Associate Editor Pat Truman, MATC
Primary Medical Reviewer Caroline S. Rhoads, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology
Specialist Medical Reviewer Ruth Schneider, MPH, RD - Diet and Nutrition
Last Updated April 10, 2009

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 10, 2009
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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