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High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure in the morning

03/15/2008

Question:

When I get up on different morning my blood pressure varies between 140 - 175, and by the afternoons I am averaging 117. I take Hyzaar 50/12.5. Is this normal? All the best.

Answer:

Blood pressure is extremely variable. Even individuals without high blood pressure can have extremely high blood pressures and extremely low blood pressures if taken at different times during the day. Blood pressure is typically highest from 6AM to noon, lower in the evening, and lowest during sleep. So the pattern given is not unusual. It is the average of a number of blood pressure readings that is important in deciding the need for a change in treatment. Average blood pressures at the physician's office at any visit should always be less than 140/90. Average blood pressures at home should be less than 135/85. All blood pressures should be measured after being seated in the chair where the blood pressure is measured (not on an exam table) for at least five minutes. The blood pressure cuff should the correct size (the air filled part of cuff should circle at least 80% of the arm) and the device should be calibrated every six months. If these measures are met, and the average of multiple readings is higher than the above, one should check with their provider.

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Response by:

Jackson T Wright, MD, PhD, FACP Jackson T Wright, MD, PhD, FACP
Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University