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Forum Name: Hypertension

Question: High blood pressure lowers if taken immediately again


 jmarker - Mon Apr 07, 2008 7:31 am

I am a 34 year old male who is slightly over weight (6'2'' and 221lbs) and at the moment inactive, but otherwise healthy. The last couple of times I had my blood pressure checked by someone it read relatively high (137/91, 141/92, 142/90) but when they took it again in the same arm immediately following the first reading, the second reading always lowers significantly (110/72, 114/68, 118/71). Is this normal, and if not, what would cause this change? Also, which reading is correct, and do I need to worry about being either pre-hypertensive or hypertensive? If so, are there tests you would recommend that would give me a better idea of what my state of health is at the moment? Thank you for your help.
 Debbie Miller, RN - Tue Apr 08, 2008 5:49 pm

User avatar Hello,
I can't say this definitively but I would guess that you are anxious on the first reading, but then you calm in time for the second. Perhaps similar to "White Coat Anxiety" frequently noted when a person has their BP checked in the doctor's office but otherwise it is normal. But when repeating the blood pressure it's best to wait at least ten minutes between or do it on the other arm so the blood has a chance to return to its normal resting pressure.

What I would suggest is taking it several times and keeping a record (daily for instance at the local drug store). Only test it once at each session. You become comfortable doing it in that setting and the pattern that emerges will likely be quite accurate.

If it continues to be high, see your doctor and bring your record with you. The second readings you have here look fine.

Best wishes.

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