Diagnosis of High Blood Pressure

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Arterial hypertension is the persistent elevation of blood pressure to values above those established as normal. Normal values are defined as a systolic, or “maximum”, blood pressure below 140 mmHg and a diastolic, or “minimum”, blood pressure of less than 90 mmHg.

Tests used to diagnose hypertension

Folder with a patient's medical history

The patient’s medical history, including the following data:

  • Cardiovascular risk factors.
  • A family history of cardiovascular disease, particularly in the case of any first-degree relatives who have died under the age of 50 because of a heart condition. 
  • Diet and physical activity.
  • The presence of other diseases that could reduce the amount of control over blood pressure values, such as diabetes or kidney disease.
  • If taking any medications that can cause hypertension.
  • Any previous cardiovascular conditions, such as stroke, angina, heart attack, congestive heart failure, chronic kidney disease, amongst others.
Measuring blood pressure with a barometer

Blood pressure measurement. The primary test used to diagnose high blood pressure is its direct measurement. Blood pressure should be measured while the patient is seated, with the arm supported on a table and at the same height as the heart. The patient should not cross their legs. The patient should remain in this position for a few minutes before correctly fitting an appropriately sized cuff. It is important to select a certified brand of electronic blood pressure monitor http://www.seh-lelha.org/aparatos-medida-pa/.

Substantiated information by:

Antonio Coca Payeras
Cristina Sierra Benito
Dolors Estrada Raventós
Miguel Camafort Babkowski
Mónica Doménech Feria-Carot
Rosa Soriano Giménez

Published: 20 February 2018
Updated: 20 February 2018

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