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How is Hypertension Diagnosed?

Hypertension diagnosis involves patient examination, blood pressure measurement, categorization based on readings, and additional tests like ambulatory monitoring and laboratory tests.

  • 09 Feb 2024
  • 2 min read

Hypertension is commonly known as high blood pressure and is a significant health concern affecting millions worldwide. It often remains asymptomatic, making regular check-ups and proper diagnosis crucial. Detecting hypertension involves several methods and assessments that aid healthcare providers in determining an accurate diagnosis. The process not only helps in understanding the severity of the condition but also guides in devising appropriate treatment plans. Hence, it is important to know how Hypertension is diagnosed. These are the ways through which Hypertension is diagnosed.

Diagnosis Through Various Methods:

  • Patient Examination: Healthcare providers conduct a thorough physical examination and inquire about the patient's medical history and symptoms related to high blood pressure.
  • Blood Pressure Measurement: Upon examination, healthcare professionals use a stethoscope to listen to the heart and measure blood pressure using a cuff, generally placed around the arm. The cuff's size matters, as an ill-fitting cuff can lead to varied readings. It is then inflated using a hand pump or a machine to measure systolic (during heartbeats) and diastolic (between heartbeats) pressures. These readings are recorded in millimetres of mercury (mm Hg).
  • Blood Pressure Readings: A diagnosis of hypertension is established if the reading consistently equals or exceeds 130/80 mm Hg, based on the average of multiple measurements taken on separate occasions.
  • Categorization and Further Tests: Blood pressure is categorized into stages, guiding appropriate treatment. Stage 1 hypertension falls within the range of 130-139/80-89 mm Hg, while Stage 2 registers as 140/90 mm Hg or higher. Sometimes, only the top number is high, indicating isolated systolic hypertension, common in individuals over 65. Further tests may be recommended upon a hypertension diagnosis.
  • Additional Tests: Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring observes blood pressure over 24 hours, providing comprehensive data. Laboratory tests check for underlying conditions affecting blood pressure, such as cholesterol or blood sugar abnormalities, kidney issues, liver function, or thyroid disorders.
  • Specialized Tests: Electrocardiograms (ECGs) and echocardiograms are painless tests that analyse heart activity and blood flow, aiding in assessing heart health.
  • Home Blood Pressure Monitoring: Healthcare providers may suggest monitoring blood pressure at home using reliable devices. Home monitoring assists in tracking blood pressure regularly, aiding in medication evaluation and disease progression assessment.

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Detecting high blood pressure involves several tests to understand it better. Catching it early helps manage it and prevents other health issues. Regular health check-ups are crucial. They help in staying healthy and dealing with high blood pressure effectively. Through these check-ups, any problems can be found early, and proper care can be provided to prevent more serious health problems. However, these technically advanced medical tests are often extremely expensive. That's where health insurance comes in handy. It makes these tests affordable and accessible, so everyone can get them. This way, people can check their blood pressure regularly and get the right help when needed.

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