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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Hypertension

Question: Higher blood pressure standing than sitting?

 JH - Sat Sep 11, 2004 7:25 am


When I stand and take my blood pressure, I'm always 10-15 points higher than when I'm sitting. Is this normal? Maybe this can explain why my blood pressure is higher at the doctors.

Is there any importance if the arm is horizontal or verticle in order to get a correct reading when standing?

 Dr. Russell M - Sun Sep 12, 2004 12:06 pm

User avatar Hi!

Blood pressure measurement varies with time, position, and body status. What we measure now might not be what we measure a second later. On standing from the sitting position, there is bound to be a very brief slight drop in BP followed by a slight increase above sitting after about a minute or two. Prolonged standing may result in an additional drop in BP. A higher pressure during standing may be part of a person's hypertension. But a drop in BP more than 20 mm Hg could mean orthostatic hypotension, which occurs in dehydration, shock, drug side effect, etc.

Blood pressure measurement should be done such that the place of cuffing, be it the arm or the wrist, should be at level with the heart.

Hope this helps.


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