How is Blood Pressure Tested?

 

How Is Blood Pressure Tested?

Having your blood pressure tested is quick and easy. Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and recorded as two numbers systolic pressure "over" diastolic pressure. For example, the doctor or nurse might say "130 over 80" as a blood pressure reading.

Both numbers in a blood pressure reading are important. As we grow older, systolic blood pressure is especially important.

To test your blood pressure, your doctor will use a familiar device with a long name. It is called a sphygmomanometer (pronounced sfig-mo-ma-nom-e-ter), and may look something like this:

Blood Pressure

Some blood pressure testing devices use electronic instruments or digital readouts. In these cases, the blood pressure reading appears on a small screen or is signaled in beeps, and no stethoscope is used.

Adapted from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/

Reviewed by Francine Kaufman, MD. 4/08

Last Modified Date: July 01, 2013

All content on dLife.com is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

More on this Topic

No items are associated with this tag

Sign up for FREE dLife Newsletters

dLife Membership is FREE! Get exclusive access, free recipes, newsletters, savings, and much more! FPO

Congratulations!
You are subscribed!
Congratulations!
You are subscribed!
Congratulations!
You are subscribed!
491 Views 0 comments
by Carey Potash
Someone at work asked me for a “fun fact” about myself for an upcoming newsletter highlighting recent accomplishments. Having just had an absolutely hellish day and night of high blood sugars, I thought … Fun Fact: My son’s blood sugar was 525 yesterday. Fun Fact: My son’s blood sugar was so high that he couldn’t take part in his hockey team’s end-of-season party. Fun Fact: It took several...