How is hypertension (high blood pressure) diagnosed?

Updated: Feb 22, 2019
  • Author: Matthew R Alexander, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Eric H Yang, MD  more...
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Answer

An accurate measurement of blood pressure is the key to diagnosis. Several determinations should be made over a period of several weeks. At any given visit, an average of 3 blood pressure readings taken 2 minutes apart using a mercury manometer is preferable. [5, 7] On the first visit, blood pressure should be checked in both arms and in one leg to avoid missing the diagnosis of coarctation of aorta or subclavian artery stenosis.


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