Having your blood pressure taken
• Don't drink coffee or smoke cigarettes 30 minutes before having your blood pressure measured.
• Before the test, sit for five minutes with your back supported and your feet flat on the ground. Rest your arm on a table at the level of your heart.
• Remove your coat and wear short sleeves so your arm is exposed.
• Go to the bathroom prior to the reading. A full bladder can change your blood pressure reading.
• Get two readings, taken at least two minutes apart, and average the results.
• Ask the doctor or nurse to tell you the blood pressure reading in numbers.
Adapted from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/
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