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Blood Pressure Screening

Topic Overview

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening for adults 18 and older for high blood pressure.1

Tests and programs for high blood pressure vary widely in reliability. Results from automated blood pressure testing, such as you might do at a grocery store or pharmacy, may not be accurate. Any high blood pressure measurement discovered during a blood pressure screening program needs to be confirmed by a doctor or another health professional.

Rechecking blood pressure

The Seventh Joint National Committee (JNC 7) on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure recommends:2

  • Healthy adults with normal blood pressure (119/79 mm Hg or below) should have their blood pressure checked at least every 1 to 2 years. This can be done during any routine medical visit.
  • Adults who are prehypertensive (120–139 and/or 80–89 mm Hg) should have their blood pressure checked as often as recommended by their doctor or at least yearly. This can be done during any routine medical visit.
  • Adults with other risk factors for heart disease or evidence of disease caused by high blood pressure need to have their blood pressure checked more often.

For more information, see the topics High Blood Pressure, Prehypertension, and Home Blood Pressure Test.

References

Citations

  1. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (2007). Screening for high blood pressure: Reaffirmation recommendation statement. Available online: http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf07/hbp/hbprs.htm.
  2. Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (2003). Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure JNC Express (NIH Publication No. 03–5233). Bethesda, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Stephen Fort, MD, MRCP, FRCPC - Interventional Cardiology
Last Revised March 29, 2013

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