Fast Five Quiz: Hypertension Practice Essentials

Yasmine S. Ali, MD, MSCI


March 19, 2020

According to the 2017 ACC/AHA task force guidelines, BP should be recorded in both arms at the first visit. The arm that gives the higher reading should be used for subsequent readings. Repeated measurements should be separated by 1-2 minutes. Patients should avoid caffeine, exercise, and smoking for at least 30 minutes before BP measurement. They should be relaxed and sitting in a chair, with their feet on the floor and back supported, for more than 5 minutes. BP measurements made while the patient is sitting or lying on an examining table do not fulfill the criteria outlined. The guidelines suggest ensuring the cuff size is correct, such that the bladder encircles 80% of the arm.

Read more about the physical examination of patients with hypertension.


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