failed medical due to high blood pressure

Hi all

I had my navy medical in January, all went well accept my blood pressure was raised and the doc told me I needed a 24 ambulatory blood pressure monitor. I went to my doctor and she tested me and said I was fine and she believed it was the fear of failing my medical which led to the high result but I told her I would still need to have the 24 hour monitor. I done that and after a few months the results come back and they where still a little high so he sent it off for review. I was called in a couple of days ago to be told I failed and would not be able to join the navy or any other service. I then had to speak to my advisor and he said I could still join if I could get evidence that my readings where incorrect. I went to my doctors this morning and once again my blood pressure was fine. I told my doc I had a little problem with the monitor as I didn't no how to sit and it would sometimes fail and I would get worried about failing it. So she has sent me to have another 24 hour monitoring. My question is should the results return normal and everything is ok and I get a note of my doctor explaining it was the stress of having the monitor on that caused the raised readings, would that be enough to overturn the decision and pass my medical?


War Hero
If you've already twice had a high blood pressure at the Medical Examination and your 24 hour monitoring was also high, then you need to trump it.

You get nothing for a pair of 24 hrs, one reading high, one low and a brace of free-style highs. My guess is you need at least a running royal flush on the bounce or four of a kind.

In other words you need to produce consistent evidence over and above the negative or inconsistent results produced thus far & remove all element of doubt.

YAHTZEE! Erm sorry, good luck.


Just out of interest what was your average reading?

I had to have this done due to the same thing and it was described as white coat syndrome. I have an average reading from the 24hr one and my doctor passed it as perfect...
Hi hillzymufc

BHS IV defines hypertension as a sustained systolic BP = 140 mm Hg and/or sustained diastolic BP = 90

So if you had a systolic of 138 i don't understand you were discharged. Unless your disastolic was high.
No my lower wasn't above 90 and neither do I he said anything over 140 is a fail and he sent my case of for review and it come back that rejected so I am a little confused as I was within the limit.


War Hero
Again, whilst not qualified to give definitive medical advice, in order to manage realistic expectations it is important to be aware the medical standards for entry into the Armed Forces differ. Service standards are stringently applied & may very much differ from the standards required for those already serving or the definitions and parameters applied to those diagnosed, treated & considered "cured" in the eyes of the civil population under the NHS.

For example a broken bone with fixtures maybe considered treated, done & dusted under the NHS, but it may not be the case with regard suitability for military service, etc.

It maybe worth hanging around to see if @nemesis1066 has anything to add.


Lantern Swinger

I don't know how old you are, but a Systolic pressure of 138, on an ambulatory monitor is high. The decision to fail you would not have been made lightly, or on a single reading, but on consistent above average readings.
The idea of 'white coat hypertension' only really works on one off readings taken by a healthcare professional in a clinic, for example. The monitoring allows for the odd high reading, but again consistency is the key.
I agree with Ninja though, to have the decision overturned after two 24 hr sessions will be difficult and the burden of proof sits with you. The idea of getting your GP to state that stress influenced the readings is unlikely to be helpful, as stress is part of the job, and if you already have higher than normal readings then your long term outlook may be indicating that it could get worse. This wouldn't help your cause.



War Hero
Just to add, we see a fair few people with high blood pressure at the PJFT - the reason is often attributed to energy drinks or coffee. Whether true, I don't know, but I'd be inclined to give the stuff a swerve before a BP test.


My average was something like 135/68 over 24hrs. Got the second medical on Tuesday so ill just have to wait and see I suppose
My average day time reading on the 24 hour monitor was 138 but was checked at the docs when I was calm and got 120
Obbliously fitness plays a big part in your bp, had you started a decent cardiovascular exercise routine before your medical? Or were you going to start training after the medical? I do know quite a few lads who only started fitness training when they knew they were off to do selection or were offered a job.
I would also pay to have my bp lowered to 138/90.
It's a pity what's been said and done, it's an uphill struggle to get things overturned so best of luck to you.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Nurse told me that if you add 80 to your age that would be a rough guide as to where your systolic should be.
As a 62 yr old mine would be 142 , I am guessing you are early 20's so yours should be between 100 to 110.
You would be wise to take nemesis 1066 advice.


War Hero
ninja_stoker, you really are the font of all knowledge aren't you? (Meant sincerely, even if it sounds like a piss-take).
Kind words, thanks.

There are about 100 careers advisers similarly placed & many more knowledgeable than me!

The reason I decided to contribute online was because the careers service gets a bad press: "I wanted to be a Harrier Pilot, my AFCO made me join as a Stoker".

Trouble is, you have to jump through hoops to comply with the service social media policy, but it's worth it just to hopefully help joiners & bust a few myths & pre-conceptions.


War Hero
If the service medical expert in this field states it's a no-go it's permanent...Until you can produce conclusive evidence over a longer sustained period to demonstrate it was a false high. Trouble is, you could end-up spending money and endorsing the original decision.

Hopefully the results currently under review will be within the acceptable parameters.

Good luck.
Sorry to hijack this thread but I have my medical on Tuesday afternoon and I think due to stress, I've developed a touch of what looks like eczema on my arm although I am not sure it even is's not a big patch just enough to be noticed. I am treating it at the moment and I am aware that eczema is a bar to entry. Just wondered if it would be a fail if indeed it is ezcema.

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