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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

American Heart Association (AHA)
Web Address: www.heart.org

NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (U.S.)
TDD: (240) 629-3255
Web Address: www.nhlbi.nih.gov

Related Information

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
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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