High Blood Pressure

Frequently Asked Questions

10. What can I do to prepare to have my blood pressure taken?

A blood pressure test is easy and painless and can be done in a health care provider’s office or clinic. Here’s how to prepare for the test.

  • Don’t drink coffee or smoke cigarettes for 30 minutes prior to the test.
  • Go to the bathroom before the test. A full bladder can change the reading.
  • Sit for 5 minutes before the test.

You should have at least three readings taken on different days to accurately measure your blood pressure. Ask the doctor or nurse to tell you your blood pressure reading in numbers and to explain what the numbers mean. Write down your numbers or ask the doctor or nurse to write them down for you. You can keep the information in this wallet card, which you can print out and carry with you. The card also includes tips on ways to control and prevent high blood pressure and a list of questions to ask your doctor.