Do you know how to measure your blood pressure correctly?

Blood pressure is one of the factors that can predict the risk of developing cardiovascular disease in the future. High blood pressure (also known as hypertension) can lead to many long-term complications, such as:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Heart attack
  • Strokes
  • Aortic aneurysm
  • Kidney diseases
  • Vascular dementia

By regularly monitoring blood pressure we can detect abnormalities early, and treat them before they become a chronic condition. Find out more about blood pressure and how it can affect your health when it exceeds what doctors recommend here.

Measuring blood pressure – at home or at the doctor?

In general, blood pressure can be measured both at the doctor’s office and at home. In the doctor’s office, blood pressure is measured by qualified medical staff who can prescribe appropriate treatment if necessary. However, measuring blood pressure at home also has significant advantages:

  • The patient may feel more relaxed at home than at the doctor’s office, which helps the measurement to be more accurate
  • The patient can monitor their blood pressure on a regular and long-term basis

Who benefits most from home blood pressure monitoring?

  • People diagnosed with hypertension
  • People undergoing treatment for hypertension to determine how effective it is
  • People with other risk factors for cardiovascular disease
  • Pregnant women

How do we measure our blood pressure at home?

To measure your blood pressure at home, you need a specialised device called a blood pressure monitor. There are two main types of blood pressure monitors: those with a classic cuff and electronic, automated ones – we recommend electronic monitors for better measurement of blood pressure values.

How do we prepare for a correct measurement?

If you’ve decided to measure your blood pressure from the comfort of your own home, make sure you prepare properly before measuring:

  • Do not drink coffee and do not smoke at least 30 minutes before the measurement
  • Do not do strenuous exercise 30 minutes before the measurement
  • Sit quietly and relax 5 minutes before the measurement

What are the steps to follow for the most accurate measurement?

In the video below, cardiologist Gabriel Tatu-Chițoiu explains the correct standard procedure for measuring blood pressure, as well as the preparation steps before such a measurement.

Thus, during measurement take care to:

  • Adjust the cuff of the blood pressure cuff to 2 cm above the elbow so that it covers 80% of the arm (the cuff should be placed on bare skin, not over the shirt or blouse)
  • Sit upright in a chair with your feet touching the floor and the elbow of the arm where you measure your heart pressure
  • Take two measurements at one minute intervals (the final value will be the average of the two)
  • Do not talk or move during or between measurements

It is also recommended that you measure your blood pressure in both arms. There may well be a difference in values between the two arms, but this difference should be 5 mmHg or less. As a rule, the right arm will show the higher value.

If the difference consistently exceeds 10 mmHg, we recommend consulting a medical specialist as this indicates an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

How do we interpret blood pressure measurement results?

When you measure your blood pressure, you will record two values: the systolic pressure (the pressure in the arteries when the heart contracts) and the diastolic pressure (the pressure in the arteries when the heart relaxes).

A healthy person will usually have a blood pressure below 140/90 mmHg. See the European Society of Cardiology’s guidelines for blood pressure values here.

It is important to know that blood pressure values can vary depending on different factors such as your body position, your breathing, your emotional state, or the level of physical exertion. Blood pressure is lowest when you sleep and rises when you are restless, stressed or when you move. These temporary increases in blood pressure are normal and not a cause for concern, but may affect the accuracy of the result.

That’s why we recommend measuring blood pressure over several days (5-7 days), in the morning and evening at the same time every day.

Monitor your blood pressure with Dahna!

After measuring your blood pressure, you can record your values in the Dahna App to assess your risk of cardiovascular disease over a 10-year period. The app is not just limited to blood pressure monitoring; it also offers the ability to track other essential health biomarkers such as blood glucose or cholesterol levels.Download the Dahna app now and start your journey to a healthy heart!

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