Home blood pressure monitors should be checked
regularly to make sure they are working right. You may wish to take your
monitor to your doctor's office or health department to compare blood pressure
readings. This is also a good time to have a health professional watch you take
your blood pressure to make sure that you are doing it
Your blood pressure may go up and down from day to day
and 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
high blood pressure (hypertension), 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.
Do not adjust your blood pressure
medicines based on home blood pressure readings unless your doctor tells you
Talk to your doctor about how often you should monitor your
blood pressure. Early detection and treatment with a combination of medicine
and lifestyle changes (weight loss, diet, exercise, stress reduction) may
reduce the health risks caused by high blood pressure. If you are being treated
for high blood pressure, you may only need to check your blood pressure once a
week or less often. You may want to check your blood pressure more often if
your blood pressure is not well-controlled or if you are taking different
medicines or changing doses of a medicine.
Most people will have
some difference in the blood pressure between the right and the left arm.
But if you have a large difference (greater than 20 mm Hg), talk to your
doctor about what this may mean.
Some types of blood pressure
monitors can store the results of your test and transfer this information to
your computer. Some can relay these readings over a phone line to your doctor's
Blood pressure monitors that measure your blood pressure in
your finger or your wrist are not usually accurate and are not
Other Places To Get Help
American Heart Association (AHA)
7272 Greenville Avenue
Visit the American Heart Association (AHA) website for information on
physical activity, diet, and various heart-related conditions. You can search for information on heart disease and stroke, share information with friends and family, and use tools to help you make heart-healthy goals and plans. Contact the AHA to find your
nearest local or state AHA group. The AHA provides brochures and information
about support groups and community programs, including Mended Hearts, a
nationwide organization whose members visit people with heart problems and
provide information and support.