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Discovering high blood pressure (hypertension)
Q. My GP has given me a number of other tests, why?
A. As well as having your blood pressure measured your doctor should also arrange for you to have some simple investigations to try to discover the cause of your high blood pressure.
Your GP will usually ask about your family and medical history, will often carry out a urine and blood test and may ask you to have a recording of the electrical activity of your heart carried out (called an ECG). Some people may also have their blood pressure monitored over a 24-hour period (called ABPM or ambulatory blood pressure monitoring) using a small portable machine attached to their waist.
Your GP carries out these tests to:
- establish your blood pressure level
- discover what kind of high blood pressure you have (please see Why have I got high blood pressure?)
- find out whether having high blood pressure has had any effect on your body
- discover which treatments are best for you (please see Treatments for high blood pressure).