Diagnostic Tests for Hypertension


Diagnostic Test list for Hypertension: The list of diagnostic tests mentioned in various sources as used in the diagnosis of Hypertension includes:

  • Sphygmomanometer (arm cuff blood pressure test)
  • Home blood pressure tests
  • Finger cuff blood pressure test

Tests and diagnosis discussion for Hypertension: The only way to know whether your blood pressure is high is to have a health professional measure it. The result is expressed as two numbers. The top number, which is called the systolic pressure, represents the pressure when your heart is beating. The bottom number, which is called the diastolic pressure, shows the pressure when your heart is resting between beats. Your blood pressure is considered normal if it stays below 130/85 (expressed as "130 over 85"), but recent studies suggest that people with kidney disease should keep their blood pressure even lower.1

An easy test measures blood pressure. It uses an inflatable cuff around an arm. If the pressure is high, the test will be repeated on several days to get an accurate reading. You probably have had such a test on a visit to your doctor. The test gives two numbers: The systolic pressure is the pressure of blood in the vessels as the heart beats. The diastolic pressure is the pressure of the blood between heartbeats. The numbers are usually written like a fraction with the systolic above or to the left. An example is 120/80 mm Hg (millimeters of mercury), a normal adult blood pressure. Both numbers count. Your blood pressure is high if the systolic pressure is 140 or above, or the diastolic pressure is 90 or above, or both are high.2

Although the average blood pressure reading for adults is 120/80, a slightly higher or lower reading (for either number) may not be a problem. High blood pressure is diagnosed when the reading consistently exceeds 140/90.3

To test blood pressure, a doctor or nurse places a cuff around your arm above the elbow, pumps air into the cuff, and then reads the measurements as the air is let out. The test is painless and takes only a few minutes. 4

Diagnosis of Hypertension: medical news summaries: The following medical news items are relevant to diagnosis of Hypertension:

1. excerpt from High Blood Pressure and Kidney Disease: NIDDK
2. excerpt from Heart Disease & Women Controlling High Blood Pressure A Woman's Guide: NHLBI
4. excerpt from High Blood Pressure - Age Page - Health Information: NIA

Last revision: Nov 13, 2003

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