Blood Pressure Monitoring

Blood Pressure Monitoring

Benefits of Monitoring Blood Pressure at Home 

Measuring blood pressure is a common practice in any hospital or clinical setting to gain an individual’s vital signs. The benefits of monitoring blood pressure, however, extend outside of the hospital setting especially for individuals with elevated blood pressure. Several major organizations in the U.S., including the American Heart Association (AHA) and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, recommend using self-monitoring of blood pressure at home for several reasons:1


  • Confirm diagnosis of hypertension, or high blood pressure, made in a clinical setting
  • Help manage hypertension in addition to clinical treatment and counseling
  • Identify white-coat hypertension (ie, hypertension in a clinical setting) and masked hypertension (ie, hypertension in a non-clinical setting)
  • Monitor whether white-coat hypertension progresses to sustained hypertension
  • Monitor the efficacy of antihypertensive medication(s)


Tips on Monitoring Blood Pressure at Home

The AHA and the American Medical Association recommend individuals to adhere to the following techniques to ensure accurate measurement of blood pressure.1


Tips on Preparation, Positioning, and Measuring Blood Pressure

  1. Empty your bladder
  2. Find a quiet room and rest for 5 minutes
  3. Sit with arm and back supported
  4. Legs should be uncrossed
  5. Both feet should lay flat on the floor
  6. Place cuff over bare midarm without clothing
  7. Allow the cuffed arm to be relaxed and supported on a flat surface at the level of the heart
  8. Avoid talking or using electronic devices while measuring blood pressure


Tips on Blood Pressure Monitoring Schedule

  • Two measurements should ideally be taken, at least 1 minute apart
  • Measure in the morning and in the evening for a total of four readings daily
  • Measure every day if possible (28 readings/week), but at least 3 days a week (12 readings/week)
  • Monitoring blood pressure every 1-3 days a week is sufficient if stable blood pressure is achieved and maintained for several months


Selecting the Right Blood Pressure Monitor

Selecting the right blood pressure monitor is essential in getting accurate measurements at home.1,3  The AHA recommends the following types of blood pressure monitor when used at home:

  • Blood pressure monitors that have been validated
  • Blood pressure monitors that automatically inflate and deflate the blood pressure cuffs instead of ones that require manual inflation and deflation
  • Upper arm blood pressure monitors rather than wrist devices
  • Blood pressure monitors that can store readings and transmit data


Reading Blood Pressure

The AHA and the American College of Cardiology provide a helpful guideline for reading blood pressure measurements for adults.2


Blood Pressure Categories in Adults

Blood Pressure Category

Systolic Blood Pressure (mm Hg)


Diastolic Blood Pressure (mm Hg)









Stage 1 Hypertension




Stage 2 Hypertension





1. Shimbo D, Artinian NT, Basile JN, et al. Self-Measured Blood Pressure Monitoring at Home: A Joint Policy Statement From the American Heart Association and American Medical Association. Circulation. 2020;142(4):e42-e63. doi:10.1161/CIR.0000000000000803
2. Whelton PK, Carey RM, Aronow WS, et al. 2017 ACC/AHA/AAPA/ABC/ACPM/AGS/APhA/ASH/ASPC/NMA/PCNA Guideline for the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults: A Report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Practice Guidelines. Hypertension. 2018;71(6):e13-e115. doi:10.1161/HYP.0000000000000065
3. Muntner P, Shimbo D, Carey RM, et al. Measurement of Blood Pressure in Humans: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association. Hypertension. 2019;73(5):e35-e66. doi:10.1161/HYP.0000000000000087



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