Hartford Hospital

Conditions In Full

Search for

The purpose of screening is early diagnosis and treatment. Screening tests are usually administered to people without current symptoms, but who may be at high risk for certain diseases or conditions.

A blood pressure reading measures the amount of pressure in the artery when the heart is pumping (the upper number) and at rest (the lower number). This test is quick and painless. A blood pressure cuff is placed around your arm. Air is pumped into the cuff and released while a healthcare professional listens with a stethoscope. Screening for hypertension is easy and done routinely. Blood pressure checks can be done easily in your doctor’s office by a nurse, in some pharmacies, or at home if you buy a blood pressure machine.

The American Heart Association recommends having your blood pressure checked regularly; it is typically done every time you go to your doctor's office. If your blood pressure is normal, have it checked at least every two years.

If the reading is high, your doctor will likely recheck it, as one reading showing high blood pressure does not necessarily mean that you have hypertension. If your blood pressure is near the top of the normal range, or if you have a family history of high blood pressure or other risk factors, you are at risk for hypertension. Talk to your doctor about how often your blood pressure should be checked.

References:

High blood pressure. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.americanheart.org/. Accessed June 18, 2009.

Last reviewed September 2013 by Michael J. Fucci, DO

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.