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Blood pressure testing provides an easy way to diagnose hypertension. An inflatable cuff goes around the arm or wrist and provides two pressure measures. The first, systolic, measures the pressure in arteries during heartbeats. The second, diastolic, measures the pressure between beats.

To reach a diagnosis, a healthcare professional will monitor readings over a week or two. They may also opt to take measures in both arms. There may be other tests done to rule out an underlying condition, too, like kidney disease. Tests may include:

  • In-office blood pressure reading standing, sitting, and in both arms
  • At-home blood pressure readings taken over days and reported to a healthcare provider
  • Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring — A device that takes blood pressure readings at regular intervals throughout the day
  • Urinalysis — A urine test
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG) — A test that measures the heart’s electrical activity

FAQ

What is a nursing diagnosis for hypertension?

Nursing diagnosis refers to a clinical judgment made about a condition or vulnerability to it. It can involve an individual, family, community, or some other group. In this case, that condition is some stage of hypertension. Making a nursing diagnosis of hypertension is the first step in creating interventions and a care plan. 

What lab tests are done for hypertension?

Lab tests are not necessary for a diagnosis of hypertension. A healthcare provider might opt to do some tests to determine if there is an underlying cause, though. For example, they may order a urinalysis to make sure the kidneys are functioning correctly. They may look at blood cholesterol, as well. 

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