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Get your blood pressure checked more than once

January 6, 2012

It’s one of the things they always do when you got to the doctor: check your blood pressure. And they should do it more than once.

That’s because the first reading taken can be abnormally high. It’s something called “white-coat anxiety.” You’re nervous about the visit, so your blood pressure goes up.

Studies have shown that doctors get a more accurate picture of their patient’s blood pressure if they average the results of multiple readings.

Here’s something else to consider. Blood pressure readings that you take at home may be a better measure of your true condition than readings taken at your doctor’s office.

Consumer Reports on Health has this advice: “If you have hypertension, get a good home blood-pressure monitor and use it the same time of day at least twice a week.”

It’s normal for your blood pressure to change throughout the day. That’s why you want to take the readings at the same time of day.

For arm models, make sure the blood-pressure monitor you choose has a cuff that fits the circumference of your upper arm.

Remember: some insurance plans cover these devices, so be sure to check.

More Info:

WebMD: Checking your blood pressure at home
PubMed Health: Hypertension
Consumer Reports: Blood Pressure Monitors (requires subscription)

Article source: http://www.katu.com/news/medicalalert/Get-your-blood-pressure-checked-more-than-once-136748203.html


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