Home Blood Pressure Monitoring
How to Keep Track of Your Blood Pressure
According to the Orleans Parish Coroner, Dr. Dwight McKenna, 29% of adults in the United
States have hypertension. Now there are ways you can monitor your own and stay healthy.
The Journal of Family Practice states that 7% of adults ages 18-39 years old, 32%
of adults ages 40-59, and 65% of adults ages about 60 years old have the disease.
Studies show that more than half of people who are diagnosed had uncontrolled hypertension.
Elevated blood pressure has been the leading risk factor for death related to cardiovascular
disease globally for the last three decades.
Dr. McKenna says there are ways to keep track of blood pressure yourself. Patients should use
a device that is validated, fully automated and has an upper am cuff (not a wrist monitor).
Here’s what you do: measure your blood pressure in the non dominant arm after 5 minutes of
rest with the arm at heart level, back supported and feet flat on the ground. You can get a
good blood pressure monitor
• Be still. Don’t smoke, drink caffeinated beverages or
exercise within 30 minutes before measuring your blood
pressure. Empty your bladder and ensure at least 5 minutes
of quiet rest before measurements.
• Sit correctly. Sit with your back straight and supported (on a
dining chair, rather than a sofa). Your feet should be flat on
the floor and your legs should not be crossed. Your arm
should be supported on a flat surface (such as a table) with
the upper arm at heart level. Make sure the bottom of the
cuff is placed directly above the bend of the elbow. Check
your monitor’s instructions for an illustration or have your
healthcare provider show you how.
• Measure at the same time every day. It’s important to take
the readings at the same time each day, such as morning
and evening. It is best to take the readings daily however
ideally beginning 2 weeks after a change in treatment and
during the week before your next appointment.
• Don’t take the measurement over clothes.