What is normal blood pressure?
In order to diagnose hypertension, or high blood pressure, a tool called the sphygmomanometer is used to measure your blood pressure. A sphygmomanometer is commonly called blood pressure cuff, and it is an inflating band that is most commonly placed on the upper arms to measure blood pressure.
The blood pressure cuff will indicate two numbers. Systolic pressure is the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart contracts. Diastolic pressure is the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart relaxes. Both systolic and diastolic pressure is used to make the diagnosis of hypertension.
Kim, H.C., Ihm, SH., Kim, GH. et al. 2018 Korean Society of Hypertension guidelines for the management of hypertension: part I-epidemiology of hypertension. Clin Hypertens 25, 16 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40885-019-0121-0
Most of the time, your blood pressure will be measured at your doctor’s office. Your doctor may request additional blood pressure monitoring when you are at home to get a more accurate pattern of your pressure throughout the day. Depending on what your doctor requests, you may get a 24 hour automatic blood pressure monitor or your doctor may teach you how to measure your own blood pressure at home with a blood pressure cuff.