A health care provider diagnoses high blood pressure when multiple blood pressure tests—often repeated over several visits to a health care provider’s office—show that a systolic blood pressure is consistently above 140 or a diastolic blood pressure is consistently above 90. Health care providers measure blood pressure with a blood pressure cuff. People can also buy blood pressure cuffs at discount chain stores and drugstores to monitor their blood pressure at home.

Kidney disease is diagnosed with urine and blood tests.

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Health care providers measure blood pressure with a blood pressure cuff.

Urine Tests

Dipstick test for albumin. A dipstick test performed on a urine sample can detect the presence of albumin in the urine. Albumin is a protein in the blood that can pass into the urine when the kidneys are damaged. A patient collects the urine sample in a special container in a health care provider’s office or a commercial facility. The office or facility tests the sample onsite or sends it to a lab for analysis. For the test, a nurse or technician places a strip of chemically treated paper, called a dipstick, into the urine. Patches on the dipstick change color when blood or protein is present in urine.

Urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio. A health care provider uses the albumin and creatinine measurement to determine the ratio between the albumin and creatinine in the urine. Creatinine is a waste product in the blood that is filtered in the kidneys and excreted in the urine. A urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio above 30 mg/g may be a sign of kidney disease.

Blood Test

A blood test involves having blood drawn at a health care provider’s office or a commercial facility and sending the sample to a lab for analysis. A health care provider may order a blood test to estimate how much blood the kidneys filter each minute, called the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). The results of the test indicate the following:

  • eGFR of 60 or above is in the normal range
  • eGFR below 60 may indicate kidney damage
  • eGFR of 15 or below may indicate kidney failure
Get Screened for Kidney Disease

Kidney disease, when found early, can be treated to prevent more serious disease and other complications. The National Kidney Foundation recommends people with high blood pressure receive the following regular screenings:

  • blood pressure tests
  • urine albumin
  • eGFR

Health care providers will help determine how often people with high blood pressure should be screened.