Home Blood Pressure Monitoring

Checking your blood pressure at home is important to help you and your provider to see if you are at risk for high blood pressure (hypertension).
 
Knowing if you have high blood pressure and controlling it depend on correct readings.  The first time you take your blood pressure at home, take a reading on both arms. After that, use the arm that had the highest reading.  
 

Steps to make sure blood pressure numbers you take at home are correct:

 

Select a device that is accurate         

  • Home blood pressure monitoring systems are available at the Yale Health Pharmacy. Call 203-432-0033 for more information. 
  • Use a blood pressure cuff that fits your arm.    Before purchasing you blood pressure monitor, please measure your upper arm to determine the size cuff you will need.   Use a tape measure to measure your arm around the biceps.  If the arm is more than 17 inches around, ask the pharmacist for a wrist blood pressure monitor.  This will ensure that your readings are accurate.
  • Blood pressure readings taken at home may be lower than those taken in an office.

Before you take a reading

  • Don’t talk, smoke, exercise or drink caffeinated drinks for 30 minutes.
  • Use the bathroom to empty your bladder.
  • Rest for at least 5 minutes.

Sit correctly

  • Sit up straight in a firm chair with back supported.
  • Place feet flat on the floor.  Do not cross your legs.
  • Rest arm comfortable at heart level on a table

Place cuff above the bend in your elbow

  • Apply the cuff to a bare arm
  • Make sure the cuff fits properly

Take at least 2 readings, 1 minute apart

  • In the morning before taking your blood pressure medicine (if any) AND
  • In the evening before supper

Record your results