Screening for Hypertension
by Michael Jubinville, MPH
The purpose of screening is to find and treat diseases early. They are given to people who may be at high risk, but who don’t have problems.
The American Heart Association advises having your blood pressure (BP) checked starting at age 20. If your BP is normal, you can get it checked every 2 years. If it's near the top of the normal range or you're at high risk for hypertension, you may need to have it checked more often. Your doctor will give you a timeline.
A BP reading measures the amount of pressure in the artery when the heart is pumping and at rest. This test is quick and painless. A 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, in drug stores, or at home. If you do it at home, you will need to buy a machine.
High blood pressure. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/high-blood-pressure. Accessed October 2, 2018.
Heart-health screenings. American Heart Association website. Available at:
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Accessed October 2, 2018.
Hypertension. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115345/Hypertension. Updated August 29, 2016. Accessed October 2, 2018.
Last reviewed September 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael J. Fucci, DO, FACC
Last Updated: 10/2/2018
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