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Diagnosis of Hypertension

  • Michael Jubinville, MPH
Publication Type:


Diagnosis of Hypertension

Hypertension is often found when a person visits the doctor. Blood pressure (BP) is measured using a cuff around the arm. There person may be asked to sit quietly for 5 minutes before BP is checked.

Placement of Blood Pressure Cuff.

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For most people, it takes more than one high blood pressure reading to make a diagnosis. If a BP reading is high, another reading will be done a few minutes later. If BP is still high, the person may be asked to come back for more checks. A high blood pressure diagnosis is based on 2 readings of 130/80 mmHg or higher at 2 or more visits.

Sometimes people feel worried when they are at the doctor's office. This can make their BP higher than it would be. They may be asked to take their BP at home or some other place .

Some people may be asked to wear a blood pressure monitor. This will take readings as a person goes about their day. It is often worn for 24 hours, even while sleeping.


  • High blood pressure. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/high-blood-pressure.
  • How high blood pressure is diagnosed. American Heart Association website. Available at: https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/the-facts-about-high-blood-pressure/how-high-blood-pressure-is-diagnosed.
  • Hypertension. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/hypertension.


  • Mark Arredondo, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.