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What Is Pseudo Hypertension?

What Is Pseudo Hypertension?

Pseudo hypertension involves an uncommon phenomenon often observed in older adults, according to which the measurement of blood pressure obtained by using blood pressure cuff, also known as sphygmomanometer shows higher reading than the exact blood pressure. Because of this, doctors often diagnose patients suffering from pseudo hypertension as actually hypertension even though they have normal blood pressure.1

What Is Pseudo Hypertension?

Causes of Pseudo Hypertension

Calcification of Blood Vessels: Pseudo hypertension takes because of blood vessels’ calcification, which fail to compress properly. When doctors measure the blood pressure from inside the artery, they get normal value. However, the condition involves a huge risk related to cardiovascular problems. As the stiff artery walls present in arteriosclerosis fail to compress with normal blood pressure, the reading theoretically becomes high as compared to true measurement of the internal artery.2

Thickening of Artery Walls: Pseudo hypertension also takes place because of thickening of artery walls, which often take place in individuals with aging. The thickening of arteries makes them highly stiff and creates difficulty in compression. Every one of us knows that measurement of blood pressure depends on the measurement of the exact force it requires for compressing an artery. Hence, when you have thick arteries, they compress with huge difficulty or fail to compress to elevate the reading of sphygmomanometer falsely.3

How Doctors Suspect The Problem?

Your doctor often suspect your problem of pseudo hypertension based on two different cases-

You Do Not Have Any Symptom: Your blood pressure reading shows high with time, but you do not experience any symptom related to damage of any body organ or deal with any other complication.

You Experience Low Blood Pressure Symptoms: Secondly, you experience confusion, dizziness and decrease in urine output and other related symptoms of low blood pressure when your doctor provides you high blood pressure treatment.

How To Confirm Pseudo Hypertension In Patients?

Doctors initially use finger blood pressure meter and any other similar type of device to collect relevant data related to pseudo hypertension. However, the best way to confirm the problem is to measure the intraarterial blood pressure directly i.e. measuring blood pressure within the blood vessel done by simply inserting a small needle directly within a small artery.4, 5

Other Important Aspects On Pseudo Hypertension

Most of the times patients experience pseudo hypertension because of white coat effect i.e. when their blood pressure elevates while visiting the doctor’s office due to anxiety.6

Pseudo hypertension also takes place because of various lifestyle factors, like intake of excessive salt in the diet, involving in smoking habits, lack of adequate physical exercise and skipping the blood pressure medicine.

Your doctor has the main objective to treat your secondary conditions related to hypertension and optimize the medicines. Moreover, he recommends you a few lifestyle changes, which help you in getting positive effects from your medicines.


To conclude, we should say that pseudo hypertension involves only proper diagnose and to stay in the safe side, a patient should follow a healthy lifestyle.


Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:January 24, 2022

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