Results of Anxiety on Blood Pressure PDF  | Print |  E-mail
When assessing blood pressure, there are many variables to consider from moment to moment including:

* Age
* Race
* Gender
* Exercise
* Emotion
* Food intake
* Alcohol intake
* Smoking
* Pain
* Temperature
* Circadian rhythms
* Bladder problems
* Respiration

When having one's blood pressure measured, a person should be relaxed and, if possible, in a quiet room with a comfortable temperature. Whenever possible, the taking of blood pressure should follow a period of relaxation. If it is not possible to take blood pressure under these optimal conditions, it should be noted that an elevated blood pressure may be a result of conditions that were less than ideal.

Anxiety can have the effect of increasing the blood pressure by as much as 30mm Hg. The automatic fight or flight response to danger results in an increase in blood pressure. Therefore if a person is anxious, it will then be reflected in an elevated blood pressure reading. Plentiful reassurance for the individual having their blood pressure checked is frequently necessary. Additionally, the person taking the blood pressure reading should be sure to assure the individual that of their capabilities. Once a patient becomes acclimated to their surroundings and to the person reading their blood pressure, blood pressure should return to a more normal reading. Studies have demonstrated the presence of "white coat syndrome", a situation in which a person’s blood pressure is always higher when measured by a doctor and to a lesser degree by nurses.

During the course of reading a person's blood pressure, it is also advisable to monitor their pulse rate as well as their respirations. If their pulse rate or respirations are higher than within normal limits for that person, it is advisable to leave the patient to rest and to recheck their resting pulse rate approximately fifteen minutes later. If rates are then found to be within normal limits blood pressure can be taken at that time. Many people are anxious to educate themselves about high blood pressure. Therefore if full explanations are given that often helps to lessen anxiety with regards their medical condition.
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