Monitoring Hypertension

How often a persons blood pressure needs to be check varies greatly depending on their circumstances. A young healthy adult with normal blood pressure only needs to have a blood pressure reading every 1-2 years. This is typically done during their normal health maintenance exam. If a person has borderline hypertension, systolic blood pressures between 120-140 or diastolic blood pressures between 80-90, they should have the blood pressure checked more often. People with borderline hypertension should be checked at least every 6 months. The blood pressure checks do not necessarily need to be in the doctors office, using the blood pressure machine in a pharmacy or a home blood pressure monitor is a reasonable alternative.

A patient that has a diagnoses of hypertension needs to have the blood pressure checked fairly regularly to asses how treatment is working. People with hypertension that is controlled on medication and have no other medical problems may be monitored three times per year. This monitoring may need to be more frequent if medication changes are necessary. The hypertensive patient that has other medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, or kidney problems will need to be followed more closely. Depending on the severity of the hypertension and the other medical conditions patients will need to be seen at least quarterly.

Patient with hypertension will also need laboratory follow up. There is an initial laboratory evaluation that is done when hypertension is diagnosed. After that labs are typically followed at least twice per year.