• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information


PopulationAdult general population1
RecommendationScreen for high blood pressure.
Grade: A
Screening TestsHigh blood pressure (hypertension) is usually defined in adults as: systolic blood pressure (SBP) of 140 mm Hg or higher, or diastolic blood pressure (DBP) of 90 mm Hg or higher.
Due to variability in individual blood pressure measurements, it is recommended that hypertension be diagnosed only after 2 or more elevated readings are obtained on at least 2 visits over a period of 1 to several weeks.
Screening IntervalsThe optimal interval for screening adults for hypertension is not known.
The Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC 7) recommends:
  • Screening every 2 years with BP <120/80.
  • Screening every year with SBP of 120–139 mmHg or DBP of 80–90 mmHg.
TreatmentA variety of pharmacological agents are available to treat hypertension. JNC 7 guidelines for treatment of hypertension can be accessed at http://www​.nhlbi.nih​.gov/guidelines/hypertension/jncintro​.htm.
The following non-pharmacological therapies are associated with reductions in blood pressure:
  • Reduction of dietary sodium intake.
  • Potassium supplementation.
  • Increased physical activity, weight loss.
  • Stress management.
  • Reduction of alcohol intake.
Other Relevant USPSTF RecommendationsAdults with hypertension should be screened for diabetes.
Adults should be screened for hyperlipidemia (depending on age, sex, risk factors) and smoking. Clinicians should discuss aspirin chemoprevention with patients at increased risk for cardiovascular disease.
These recommendations and related evidence are available at http://www​.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org.

This recommendation applies to adults without known hypertension.

This recommendation applies to adults without known hypertension.

From: Recommendations for Adults

Cover of The Guide to Clinical Preventive Services 2012
The Guide to Clinical Preventive Services 2012: Recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

PubMed Health. A service of the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.