Skip to main content

How High Blood Pressure Is Diagnosed


A healthcare professional can measure your blood pressure to find out if you have high blood pressure.

This video will help you understand what the numbers in your blood pressure mean.

Your blood pressure can be measured with a blood pressure cuff, called a sphygmomanometer.

When your heart beats, the pressure of blood on the walls of your arteries is called systolic pressure.

When your heart relaxes between beats, pressure on the artery wall is called diastolic pressure.

Your blood pressure may change throughout the day. However, it should normally be less than 120 for systolic pressure,

and, for diastolic pressure, it should normally be less than 80.

If your systolic pressure frequently stays above 140, or your diastolic pressure frequently stays above 90, you have high blood pressure.

Your specific goals may vary depending on your health situation.

Ask your doctor what your blood pressure goals should be.