Diagnosis of High Blood Pressure

By  , Expert Content
Feb 25, 2011

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Accurate measurement of BP is needed to diagnose high blood pressure and for successful management as well. Your doctor will use a sphygmomanometer to measure your blood pressure (BP). At times an electronic instrument may be used to measure your blood pressure. If your BP is high when measured by electronic BP instrument, your doctor will measure your BP manually. The sphygmomanometer is most accurate for measurement of BP.

High blood pressure (HBP) is diagnosed based on the results of blood pressure tests. As blood pressure can vary, your doctor will take several readings to confirm that the results are correct. If your BP is high you will asked to return to recheck your BP and for more tests as required.

The normal blood pressure is lower than 120/80 mmHg. If your systolic and/or diastolic pressures are more than 140/90 mmHg on several occasions, your doctor may diagnose it as hypertension. If you have diabetes or kidney disease, blood pressure reading above 130/80 mmHg will be considered high. HBP ranges in children are different as it varies according to age, sex, height and weight.


How Is Blood Pressure Measured?


[Read: Blood Pressure Measurement]


Measurement of blood pressure is easy and painless procedure. Before your blood pressure is measured you will be asked to follow certain instructions like;

  • Avoid coffee and smoking cigarettes for 30 minutes before the test (as these can cause a rise in blood pressure).
  • Go to the bathroom to urinate before the test (as a full bladder can alter the blood pressure reading).
  • Sit and relax for 5 minutes before your BP is measured.

Blood pressure is usually measured in a doctor’s office with device known as a sphygmomanometer. A sphygmomanometer has an arm cuff, dial, pump, and valve. Your doctor will use a stethoscope also. Ask your doctor for your blood pressure numbers is he or she does not tell you.


Diagnosing High Blood Pressure in Children and Teens


[Read: High Blood Pressure: A Rising Risk for Kids & Teens]


According to experts blood pressure should be measured in all children three years of age or older when they go for their yearly check up

Blood pressure in children and teens is measured in the same way as in adults using a sphygmomanometer. But the cuff used for children is smaller than the cuff used in adults.
To find confirm if your child’s BP reading is high your doctor will compare his or her blood pressure with the numbers that are considered normal for his or her age, height, and gender.


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