Definition of high blood pressure
What to do in case of hypertension?
For a better understanding of blood pressure The follow-up of a high blood pressure
High blood pressure damage High blood pressure and special cases
Why does high blood pressure exist? The self-measurement of blood pressure
How to measure high blood pressure? About Us
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V - How to measure high blood pressure?

5.1 - The most reliable method: to place a probe measuring the pressure directly in the artery
5.2 - The most useful method: The measure of the blood pressure using a sphygmomanometer with a cuff
Measurement of the blood pressure
5.3 - At rest at the doctors
5.4 - At rest at home, using a self-measurement device

5.5 - During a physical exercise
5.6 - Measurement by an ambulatory monitoring of the blood pressure during 24 hours
Description of the device
5.7 - The cuff
5.8 - Method for the measurement of the blood pressure
5.9 - The sphygmomanometer

5.6 - Measurement by an ambulatory monitoring of the blood pressure during 24 hours


The blood pressure can be measured during 24 hours using an automatic device. In general, this device measures the blood pressure every 15 minutes during the day and every 30 minutes during the night, these intervals can also be defined differently.

In order to obtain a good quality of the measurements, it is essential to undertake this examination in good conditions: this examination must be carried out on an active person, apart from a stop for work or during the weekend. In order to correlate the blood pressure peaks and troughs, a daily-report of activity must be delivered by the physician and be filled out by the patient.

Moreover, the physician or the technician who installs the device must explain clearly to his patient that it is possible at any time to start a measurement of the blood pressure by pressing on a button reserved for this use.

Ambulatory monitoring of the blood pressure, at home, during 24 hours

Use of the automatic device of measurement
of the blood pressure during 24 hours

This measurement is used in several cases:

  • If a patient has a doubtful high blood pressure during the consultation in the physician office, and the physician wants to know the real blood pressure level and needs to eliminate a “white coat” hypertension;
  • If a patient is already treated for an arterial hypertension and the physician wants to evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment over 24 hours;
  • If a treated patient feels faint, and then the recording of the blood pressure over 24 hours is looking for an arterial hypotension.

On the other hand, this examination is of no interest when the high blood pressure is obvious.

The results appear as shown below, in the form of tables, diagrams, and day and night averages.


A high blood pressure is defined by a blood pressure level up to 135/85 millimetres of mercury (13,5/8,5) for the period of day and 125/75 millimetres of mercury (12,5/7,5) for the period of night.

Day-night variation of the blood pressure is also very important to consider. In physiological conditions, the blood pressure is lower during the period of night compared to the period of day, and this variation must be equal to at least 10%. But sometimes, this cycle is not respected, which testifies to the severity of the high blood pressure or the existence of a disease responsible for a high blood pressure (secondary high blood pressure).

Many studies have shown the benefit of this blood pressure measurement to predict the occurrence of cardiovascular events: the blood pressure measured over 24 hours by an automatic device seems to be a better index of the cardiovascular risk than the blood pressure measured in the physician’s office.

Risk of cardiovascular events in patients having an average systolic blood pressure with 180, 160 or 140 mmHg with the ABP (Ambulatory Blood Pressure) according to time.

File last reviewed on : 18 dec 2011
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