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Why is my blood pressure reading fluctuating?

Monday, 22 March 2004
Answered by: Dr. Venk Mani
Consultant Physician,
Leigh Infirmary,
England
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Q. I am not sure if I am hypertensive or not as there is a great variation in my blood pressure readings. Sometimes it is 130/100 at one place while 110/80 on another instrument on the same day. Each doctor says his reading is ok. I have got my blood pressure checked at least 50 times with the ratio of normal:abnormal being 50:50. I find it very confusing because the B.P is taken on the same arm after adequate rest.

A.  I note that your blood pressure readings fluctuate. This happens in every person and depends on their build, the time it is recorded as well as the position the person is in, i.e. is he lying down or standing, not to mention the cuff size. Treatment needs to be considered if the diastolic pressure (lower no. of the two) is consistently above 90mm. In medicine one needs to treat facts and not probabilities.

A.  I note that your blood pressure readings fluctuate. This happens in every person and depends on their build, the time it is recorded as well as the position the person is in, i.e. is he lying down or standing, not to mention the cuff size. Treatment needs to be considered if the diastolic pressure (lower no. of the two) is consistently above 90mm. In medicine one needs to treat facts and not probabilities.

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