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41 PRACTICAL QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT HYPERTENSION AND HYPERCHOLESTEROLEMIA - 2008

DIAGNOSIS OF HYPERTENSION PREVIOUS QUESTION  QUESTIONS  NEXT QUESTION
  • The diagnosis of hypertension will be made by your doctor with measurements of your blood pressure in his office. Usually repeated measurements are needed during at least 2-3 different visits to the doctor's office. One isolated visit is almost never enough for the diagnosis of hypertension. The diagnosis of hypertension is made when either the systolic blood pressure in the doctor's office is persistently higher than 140 mmHg or when the diastolic is higher than 90 mmHg or whenever the two conditions coexist.
  • Blood pressure levels are not as stable as cholesterol or body weight but tend to vary in every measurement. Especially during the first visit to the doctor's office, the pressure may be much higher than its actual levels. Moreover, in any visit, blood pressure is usually higher in the first measurement than in the following ones. It frequently occurs that blood pressure is found higher in the first or second visits, but is reduced even to normal levels in the following visits without any treatment. Therefore, not only the diagnosis of hypertension but also the commencement of antihypertensive drug treatment must not be made based on occasional pressure measurements.
  • Even in people with a very high blood pressure levels (more than 180/110 mmHg), if there is no call for emergency treatment dictated by cardiovascular complications, the doctor must wait for some days in order to ascertain the levels of blood pressure and also to perform the required laboratory evaluation of the patient. The closer to the diagnostic limit of 140/90 mmHg the blood pressure is, the longer it will take to confirm the diagnosis of hypertension. It is well known that when the proper pattern of blood pressure evaluation is used, some people that have been otherwise considered as hypertensives and have therefore started antihypertensive treatment finally prove to be normotensives and, as a result, the treatment is discontinued.

WRITING GROUP
G. Stergiou, Chairman
A. Achimastos
E. Andreadis
I. Avramopoulos
M. Elissaf
N. Karatzas
T. Mountokalakis
D. Papadogiannis
K. Siamopoulos
E. Varsamis
K. Vemmos
D. Vlahakos