Blood Pressure Test : Know the reason and risk factors of the test823
The pressure in the arteries as the heart beats is measured by a blood pressure check. As part of a regular health examination or as a screening for excessive blood pressure, a blood pressure reading may be taken (hypertension). Some people check their blood pressure at home using home monitors.
Reason for Blood Pressure Test
Most medical appointments include a routine blood pressure check. Screening for high blood pressure is a crucial component of general healthcare.
How frequently you should get your blood pressure checked depends on your age and overall health.
A blood pressure check should be performed at least once every two to five years on adults aged 18 and older who have normal blood pressure and no risk factors for heart disease.
Every year, blood pressure should be checked on people who are 40 years of age and older, as well as those who are at an elevated risk of high blood pressure.
People with long-term health issues, such as heart disease or high or low blood pressure, may require blood pressure monitoring.
Additionally, your doctor could advise you to take your blood pressure at home. Automatic home blood pressure monitors are easy to use. Some allow you to send the data to an online medical record by connecting to a computer or smartphone. Find out if you have this option by asking your provider.
Keeping a record of your at-home blood pressure readings is a smart idea. To ensure you are receiving correct readings, have your care provider inspect your monitor once a year as well.
Home blood pressure monitoring is not a replacement for doctor's appointments.
A blood pressure check is easy, fast, and typically painless. But as it inflates, the blood pressure cuff squeezes the arm. This may cause a little discomfort for some people. The sensation only lasts a brief period of time.
Preparation For Blood Pressure Test
A blood pressure test often requires no extra preparation. However, the subsequent actions might offer the most precise measurement:
- For 30 to 60 minutes prior to the test, refrain from using coffee, exercising, or smoking. These exercises raise heart rate and blood pressure.
- Short sleeves will make it easier to wrap your arm over the blood pressure cuff.
- Before the test, unwind on a chair for at least five minutes.
- Inform your doctor about the medications you take. Blood pressure may be impacted by some medicines.
During the Procedure
A person's blood pressure is typically taken when they are sitting in a chair, flat on the floor. At the heart level, the arm should rest comfortably.
The upper arm is wrapped in the blood pressure cuff. Just above the elbow, the bottom of the cuff is located. Fitting the cuff is crucial. If the cuff is too large or too small, the blood pressure measurements may differ.
A device can be used to take blood pressure readings. A measurement that is automated is what this is. A manual measurement is one that does not involve a machine.
A stethoscope is placed over the primary artery in the upper arm (brachial artery) for a manual blood pressure measurement.
The cuff is inflated with the use of a little hand pump. The arm is squeezed while the cuff expands. For a brief period, blood flow via the artery is stopped.
To gradually release the air in the cuff and restart blood flow, the healthcare professional releases a valve on the hand pump. The doctor keeps checking the blood pressure while also monitoring the heartbeat and blood flow.
The blood pressure cuff automatically inflates and measures the pulse for an automated reading. A stethoscope is not required in this scenario.
The process of measuring blood pressure takes roughly one minute.
After the Procedure
You will probably need at least three more blood pressure checks, spaced at least a week apart, to find out if you require therapy and if your blood pressure is high or low. Day to day and from one moment to the next, blood pressure might change.
After the test, your healthcare professional can immediately inform you of the findings of your blood pressure.
Millimetres are used to measure blood pressure (mm Hg). Two figures are obtained while measuring blood pressure:
Systolic pressure, which is the top number, represents the force of the blood flow when the heart muscle contracts and pumps blood.
The pressure between heartbeats is represented by the bottom number (diastolic).
Making a few lifestyle modifications can improve your heart health if you have high blood pressure.
Lessen salt (sodium). Healthy individuals should consume no more sodium per day than 2,300 milligrammes (mg). Most adults should try to keep their daily salt intake to under 1,500 mg. Verify the salt content in prepared foods, such as canned soups.
Eat nutritious foods. Select foods with low fat, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Eat less overall fat and saturated fat.
Limit your alcohol intake. Blood pressure might rise while drinking. If you decide to drink, do so in moderation. That means that healthy adults can have up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.
Avoid smoking. If you require assistance stopping, speak with your provider about possible solutions. Attempt to prevent passive smoking as well.
control your weight. A risk factor for high blood pressure is having an excessive amount of body weight. Weight loss of any size can reduce blood pressure.
Regular exercise. Exercise lowers blood pressure and aids with weight management. Most healthy adults should engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, 75 minutes of strenuous aerobic activity, or a combination of the two, every week.
Your doctor may advise taking medication if adopting lifestyle changes to lower your blood pressure are ineffective. You and your doctor can talk about the best course of action for you.
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Page last reviewed: Mar 13, 2023
Next review due: Mar 13, 2025