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What causes variations in BP readings?

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Posted on Mon, 16 May 2016
Question: Hello doctor,
My BP was 170/105 for first time and within a minitue it went to 135/87.. I checked them for five times and it ran around 135-140/85-90.. Do i need tobworry about my first reading 170/105
Thanks a lot DR. So i need to sit calmly for 30 mints before taking Blood pressure... One last question i have is did anxiety can take your BP to 170/105? Because i am always anxious while checking in hospitals.. I get normal reading at home around 125/82... but in hospitals its around 140/90..
doctor
Answered by Dr. Vivek Chail (10 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
A single high blood pressure recording is not a worry

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Thanks for writing in to us.

I have read through your query in detail.
Please find my observations below.

1. Blood pressure is a dynamic variable. It keeps varying as per the conditions in the body. It is important to measure blood pressure after 30 minutes of physical and mental relaxation for an accurate value.

2. High blood pressure is diagnosed if a person has a persistent high blood pressure recording of more than 140/ 90 mm Hg when recorded on 3 consecutive days at the same time and in the same position after taking 30 minutes of physical and mental rest.

Even at home, you must record your blood pressure after 30 minutes of rest.

3. The blood pressure can vary every minute. An initial recording of 170/ 105 which came to normal 135/ 87 in under a minute is nothing to worry about.

It is better to record your blood pressure on 3 subsequent days at the same time of the day and following 30 minutes of physical and mental rest. If it is persistently above 140/ 90 mm Hg then you need to consult your doctor and treatment with medicines is required.

1. Yes you should relax for 30 minutes and keep your mind calm before recording your blood pressure.

2. Anxiety is the commonest cause of a falsely elevated blood pressure recording.

3. There is a condition called white coat hypertension in which a person has high blood pressure recording when in the hospital. This is because of the hospital environment associated anxiety. If your recording at home is 125/ 82 consistently then your blood pressure in the hospital is due to anxiety.
Hope your query is answered.
Please do write back if you have any doubts.

Regards,
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Answered by
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Dr. Vivek Chail

Radiologist

Practicing since :2002

Answered : 6786 Questions

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What causes variations in BP readings?

Brief Answer: A single high blood pressure recording is not a worry Detailed Answer: Hi, Thanks for writing in to us. I have read through your query in detail. Please find my observations below. 1. Blood pressure is a dynamic variable. It keeps varying as per the conditions in the body. It is important to measure blood pressure after 30 minutes of physical and mental relaxation for an accurate value. 2. High blood pressure is diagnosed if a person has a persistent high blood pressure recording of more than 140/ 90 mm Hg when recorded on 3 consecutive days at the same time and in the same position after taking 30 minutes of physical and mental rest. Even at home, you must record your blood pressure after 30 minutes of rest. 3. The blood pressure can vary every minute. An initial recording of 170/ 105 which came to normal 135/ 87 in under a minute is nothing to worry about. It is better to record your blood pressure on 3 subsequent days at the same time of the day and following 30 minutes of physical and mental rest. If it is persistently above 140/ 90 mm Hg then you need to consult your doctor and treatment with medicines is required. 1. Yes you should relax for 30 minutes and keep your mind calm before recording your blood pressure. 2. Anxiety is the commonest cause of a falsely elevated blood pressure recording. 3. There is a condition called white coat hypertension in which a person has high blood pressure recording when in the hospital. This is because of the hospital environment associated anxiety. If your recording at home is 125/ 82 consistently then your blood pressure in the hospital is due to anxiety. Hope your query is answered. Please do write back if you have any doubts. Regards,