High blood pressure is diagnosed through at least two separate blood pressure readings above a certain number. Learn more about how high blood pressure is diagnosed with tips from a doctor in this free health video.
Now we want to look at an actual patient example, and see how this fits into diagnosing high blood pressure. Any time you're diagnosing high blood pressure, or when you suspect somebody has high blood pressure, you need two elevated readings on two separate occasions. So if I have somebody come into my office, and have a high blood pressure reading, I'm going to send them home with homework to take their own blood pressure, and keep that monitored, and come back in one week; two weeks, depending on how elevated it is. Then we're going to recheck that when they come back, before we give the actual diagnosis. We want to look at the JNC7, which is the Joint National Committee for staging that blood pressure, and the Joint National Committee is a committee of the National Heart, Blood and Lung Association, that meet to compare research in the area of blood pressure, and they stage these blood pressures based on methods for long term reduction of strokes and heart attacks. Here is an example of the Joint National Committee's blood pressure staging. One hundred fifty over eighty is optimal; normal blood pressure; 120/80; pre-hypertension, which is high blood pressure; hypertension; high blood pressure; is 120-139/80-89; stage I is 140-159/90-99, and stage II is anything over 160/100.
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