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How is hypertension diagnosed?

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To diagnose hypertension, at least three elevated blood pressure readings are required. Your doctor will also ask about:

He'll also do a physical exam. He may use a stethoscope to listen to your heart for any abnormal sounds or “murmurs” that could mean there's a problem with your heart valves. Your doctor will also listen for a whooshing or swishing sound that could mean your arteries are blocked. And he may check the pulses in your arm and ankle to see if they're weak or even absent.

  • Your medical history (whether you've had heart problems before)
  • Your risk factors (whether you smoke, have high cholesterol, diabetes, etc.)
  • Your family history (whether any members of your family have had high blood pressure or heart disease)

SOURCE: American Heart Association. American Medical Association. 

Reviewed by Suzanne R. Steinbaum on June 21, 2017

SOURCE: American Heart Association. American Medical Association. 

Reviewed by Suzanne R. Steinbaum on June 21, 2017

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If you're diagnosed with high blood pressure, what tests might your doctor recommend?

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