Blood pressure below 120/80 mm Hg is considered as a normal blood pressure. But, some medical experts claim 115/75 mm Hg as a more stable blood pressure level (Luehr et al., 2012, p. 15). Prehypertension, stage 1 hypertension, and stage 2 hypertension are three major hypertension stages. Prehypertension consists of a systolic pressure in the range of 120 to 139 mm Hg or a diastolic pressure in the range of 80 to 89 mm Hg. Stage 1 hypertension and stage 2 hypertension have a systolic pressure in the range of 140 to 159 mm Hg and 160 mm Hg or greater respectively or a diastolic pressure in the range of 90 to 99 mm Hg and 100 mm Hg or greater respectively (Luehr et al., 2012, p. 15).
It is not possible to diagnose hypertension on the basis of one blood pressure reading as blood pressure varies several times in a day depending on activities, surroundings, age, and gender. Hence, doctors keep the patient on an observation and check the blood pressure at intervals for several times to diagnose it. Patients are required to avoid smoking, physical exercise, or drinking energetic beverages (especially with caffeine) for at least 30-40 minutes before the blood pressure readings (Simon & Zieve, 2013). As often during the clinical testing, patients are in stress, doctors ask the patients to measure their blood pressure at home too. Usually, doctors recommend the use of specific ambulatory monitoring equipment that measures blood pressure about every 20-30 minutes during the 24-hours period and gives appropriate readings to help the doctors to diagnose the hypertension in patients (Simon & Zieve, 2013). Based on the clinical and home readings of blood pressure at several times a day for period of time and medical history of patient, doctors diagnose the hypertension condition in the patient (Simon & Zieve, 2013).
In order to formally diagnose the hypertension, there are various tests which are required to perform.