This is a scheduled period of observation in which your GP measures your blood pressure at regular intervals to see if it is at a consistently high level.
Your GP will not confirm a diagnosis of high blood pressure from just the one reading. He or she will carry out further readings but at set times in order to see if your blood pressure is still high.
The reason for this is that it is very difficult to confirm a diagnosis from a single measurement. Your blood pressure may have been high during that check, for a variety of reasons which include ‘white coat hypertension’, caffeine, lack of sleep and stress.
If you have exercised before this check then you will find that your blood pressure will be raised which will be expressed in the reading. Exercise does cause a temporary rise in blood pressure but regular exercise helps to lower it in the long term.
The length of this observation period will depend upon various factors which include the first reading and if you have any medical problems or lifestyle issues.
But these readings will be taken more often if you have diabetes or have suffered a heart attack or stroke.
If you make any lifestyle changes during this period then this may be reflected during the readings. If, for example you stop smoking, take more exercise or reduce your salt intake then these can all help to lower your blood pressure.
But if these readings stay the same throughout the observation period then your GP will discuss a suitable treatment plan with you. Find out more about this in our treating high blood pressure section.
If you are one of those people who find that they become anxious when undergoing a blood pressure check at your GP’s surgery then there is the option of checking your blood pressure at home.
Find out more in the next section.
High Blood Pressure
- High Blood Pressure
- Blood pressure
- About blood pressure
- Blood pressure readings
- Low blood pressure
- High blood pressure
- What is high blood pressure?
- Symptoms of high blood pressure
- Causes of high blood pressure
- Types of high blood pressure
- High blood pressure myths
- Health risks of high blood pressure
- Bone loss
- Coronary heart disease
- Enlarged heart
- Erectile dysfunction
- Heart failure
- Kidney failure
- Kidney scarring
- Metabolic syndrome
- Mild cognitive impairment
- Peripheral arterial disease
- Sleep apnoea
- Swollen ankles
- Transient ischaemic attack
- Vascular dementia
- Diagnosing high blood pressure
- Blood pressure check
- GP observation
- Home blood pressure monitoring
- Choosing a blood pressure monitor
- Using a home blood pressure monitor
- Medical tests
- Blood test
- Urine test
- Eye test
- 24 hour ambulatory monitoring
- Women and high blood pressure
- Oral contraception
- Gestational hypertension
- Children and high blood pressure
- Treating high blood pressure
- Lifestyle changes
- High blood pressure medication
- Natural remedies
- Preventing high blood pressure
- High Blood Pressure FAQs