In the journals: Risks of hidden high blood pressure

A recent study in PLoS Medicine found that measuring blood pressure at home identifies people potentially at risk of heart problems, despite having pressures that were lower or even normal when measured in the doctor's office. This "masked hypertension" may affect 10% of people, preventing doctors from spotting those who might benefit from lifestyle change or medication.

In the study, masked hypertension was defined as blood pressure readings over 135/85 when measured outside the doctor's office. Technically, 135/85 is considered "pre-hypertension." The generally accepted trigger point for needing blood pressure medication is 140/90.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »