Basics

Are Your Lying And Standing Blood Pressure Readings Different?


Should you lie down when you get your blood pressure measured? Or should the blood pressure readings be taken while you are still standing? All these queries about blood pressure measurements stem from the differences that may be between laying and standing blood pressure. In many cases, the blood pressure levels when taken while standing are different from those taken while lying down.

Factors to consider
If your blood pressure levels are healthy enough, the difference between your standing and lying blood pressure will be insignificant. However, there are certain conditions that can be the cause of a prominent difference between the standing and lying blood pressure. Some such conditions include old age, diabetes, and postural hypotension.

Amidst various other factors, it is postural hypotension that is responsible for maximum fluctuations in your blood pressure readings. People who suffer from postural or 'orthostatic' hypotension deal with extremely low blood pressure as soon as they get up. This may also be accompanied with syncope and dizziness. If you are suffering from postural hypotension, the difference between your lying and standing blood pressure is likely to be vast.

Age is also an important factors that could be responsible for the difference between your standing and lying blood pressure. As a person ages, the mechanism related to blood pressure undergoes significant changes. This includes the integrity of the heart and blood vessels, various vasoactive agents and maintenance of intravascular volume along with working of baroceptors. In addition, there are several cardiovascular diseases that are directly related to age. All these age related changes when cumulatively put together can cause a significant difference between standing and lying blood pressure.

Another factor that may influence your blood pressure readings is the presence of a trial fibrillation. This factor holds more relevance when the ventricular rhythm is extremely irregular. So, irrespective of whether you are standing or lying down, your blood pressure readings are bound to fluctuate. In such a case, it is advised that you take your blood pressure readings while both lying down as well as standing to know the accurate results.

Check the measurement
In case, you are suffering from any of these conditions, the only way to ascertain the right blood pressure readings is by exercising some precautions. Here are some of them.

* Make sure that the patient is relaxed.
* Any kind of tight clothing should be removed.
* The arm should be given adequate support with a pillow or cushion.
* Several standing and lying blood pressure readings should be taken. The average of these readings should be considered to find the actual reading.
* The patient should refrain from any kind of eating or talking while the blood pressure readings are being taken. This can cause inaccurate readings.