Content Map Terms

Blood Pressure Screening


Your care provider uses a blood pressure monitor to screen for high blood pressure. A blood pressure cuff is wrapped around your bare upper arm. The cuff is then pumped up. The cuff is slowly deflated, and the monitor shows your blood pressure numbers. Either an automatic or manual monitor can be used.

After measuring your blood pressure, your doctor may ask you to test it again when you are home.footnote 1 This is because your blood pressure can change throughout the day. And sometimes blood pressure is high only because you are seeing the doctor. This is called white-coat hypertension.

Your doctor may ask you to monitor your blood pressure at home to make sure that it actually is high. You may get an ambulatory blood pressure monitor or a home blood pressure monitor.

Who should be screened for high blood pressure and how often?

Hypertension Canada recommends regular blood pressure testing for adults.footnote 2

Your doctor can let you know how often you should get your blood pressure checked. It may depend on what your blood pressure is and your risk for heart disease.

Children and teens

Children and teens typically have their blood pressure checked during routine checkups. Blood pressure checks typically start at age 3.footnote 2 After age 18, men and women can follow the adult screening guidelines.



  1. Nerenberg KA, et al. (2018). Hypertension Canada's 2018 guidelines for diagnosis, risk assessment, prevention, and treatment of hypertension in adults and children. Canadian Journal of Cardiology, 34(5): 506–525. DOI: /10.1016/j.cjca.2018.02.022. Accessed September 13, 2019.
  2. Rabi DM, et al. (2020). Hypertension Canada's 2020 comprehensive guidelines for the prevention, diagnosis, risk assessment, and treatment of hypertension in adults and children. Canadian Journal of Cardiology, 36(5): 596–624. DOI: 10.1016/j.cjca.2020.02.086. Accessed August 02, 2021.


Current as of: September 7, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine