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Take blood pressure readings correctly

Take blood pressure readings correctly

May 15th, 2019 by Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. in Features

When President Donald Trump's longtime lawyer Michael Cohen was led away in handcuffs from his home to the courthouse in lower Manhattan, you can bet his blood pressure was a bit high. But that's what happens when you lie to Congress

Well, if you have a home blood pressure monitor and measure your BP around your wrist—where handcuffs go—chances are good your numbers are going to lie too. That's what researchers at the University of Tasmania found recently. Although there are many devices that measure BP in the fingertips and around the wrist, those researchers and the American Heart Association recommend that you only use a brachial cuff around your upper arm (like the device in your doctor's office) to get an accurate reading.

The AHA has a few other tips for home monitoring. They include:

  •  Don't smoke, drink caffeinated beverages or exercise for 30 minutes before measuring your BP.
  •  Sit with your back straight and supported (on a dining chair, rather than a sofa) with feet flat on the floor; don't cross your legs.
  •  Take multiple readings; record the results. Each time you measure, take two or three readings, one minute apart.
  •  Don't take your measurements over clothing.

For complete info on how to monitor your blood pressure properly, go to heart.org. Then do whatever it takes—BP pills, eating salmon and nuts, jumping rope, stress management, alcohol and tobacco cessation—to get your BP to 115/75. It will reduce your risk of a disabling stroke or heart attack by over 80%.

 

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic.

 

(c)2019 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

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