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    Home Blood Pressure Test

    How It Feels

    You may feel some discomfort when the blood pressure cuff inflates, squeezing your arm.

    Risks

    There are no risks or complications from this test.

    Results

    Blood pressure for adults age 18 and older (mm Hg) 2
    Ideal

    Systolic

    119 or below

    Diastolic

    79 or below

    Prehypertension

    Systolic

    120 to 139

    Diastolic

    80 to 89

    Hypertension

    Systolic

    140 or above

    Diastolic

    90 or above

    In general, the lower your blood pressure, the better. For example, a blood pressure reading of less than 90/60 is healthy as long as you feel okay. But if you have low blood pressure and feel lightheaded, faint, or like you may vomit, talk to your doctor.

    What Affects the Test

    Blood pressure normally goes up and down from day to day and even from moment to moment. Blood pressure tends to be higher in the morning and lower at night. Stress, smoking, eating, exercise, cold, pain, noise, medicines, and even talking can affect it. A single high reading does not mean you have high blood pressure, and a single normal reading does not necessarily mean you do not have high blood pressure. The average of several repeated measurements throughout the day is more accurate than a single reading.

    Your blood pressure may only be high when you go to your doctor's office. This is called white-coat (or office) hypertension and may be caused by stress about seeing your doctor. When you regularly check your blood pressure at home, you may find that your blood pressure is lower when you are not at the doctor's office.

    What To Think About

    Do not adjust your blood pressure medicines based on home blood pressure readings unless your doctor tells you to.

    Other Places To Get Help

    Organizations

    NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (U.S.)
    (240) 629-3255
    www.nhlbi.nih.gov
    American Heart Association (AHA)
    www.heart.org

    Related Information

    Citations

    1. Pickering TG, et al. (2008). Call to action on use and reimbursement for home blood pressure monitoring. A joint scientific statement from the American Heart Association, American Society of Hypertension, and Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association. Hypertension, 52(1): 10-29.

    2. Weber MA, et al. (2013). Clinical practice guidelines for the management of hypertension in the community. Journal of Clinical Hypertension. DOI: 10.1111/jch.12237. Accessed December 19, 2013.

    Other Works Consulted

    • American Heart Association. (2005). Recommendations for blood pressure measurement in humans and experimental animals. Part 1: Blood pressure measurement in humans. AHA Scientific Statement. Hypertension, 45(1): 142-161.

    • Pickering TG, et al. (2008). Call to action on use and reimbursement for home blood pressure monitoring. A joint scientific statement from the American Heart Association, American Society of Hypertension, and Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association. Hypertension, 52(1): 10-29.

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    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: 2/, 014
    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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