Question: Should I have my blood pressure checked at the local supermarket/pharmacy, or does it need to be checked by a doctor/nurse?
Answer: One of the things that we always are concerned about when we talk about being proactive and exercising as a preventative strategy is, "Ok, what's this going to cost me? How much hassle is this going to be?"
One of the neat things about blood pressure is that you can get your blood pressure checked literally anywhere. You can go to a grocery store in any community in the United States and have it done. You can go to a pharmacy, a fire station, a church fair, a school fair; the point being, it is easy to get the blood pressure checked.
Now, if you have high blood pressure you really should consider investing in an inexpensive blood pressure machine that you can use at home. Why? So you can follow it yourself, and become engaged and involved in looking after your own health circumstances and being more conversant, more able to discuss with your health care providers how your blood pressure changes. It will really help motivate you as well to really be compliant, that is, to take the medicines as instructed to achieve control.
So you can get it checked anywhere, even if you think it's not a precise measurement, for that very first check, we just want to know high, normal, or low. That's all we want to know. After that we can clean it up with a little bit more precision, but especially if you have the disease, learn to do it yourself. It's a great tool, it's a great investment.