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Hypertension - Disposition

FAA Aeromedical Issues for Pilots

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FlightPhysical.com discusses Hypertension in sections. This page describes the general disposition instructions to AMEs. Also review the introduction and measurement sections, and specific guidelines for initial hypertension requirements, follow-up requirements, and hypertension medications.

Aerospace Medical Disposition
If an individual with no known history of hypertension is found during the FAA exam to have blood pressure readings consistently higher than 155/95 then further investigation is required. Initially, this should consist of recording the blood pressure twice a day (morning and evening) for three consecutive days. If at least 4 of these 6 readings are 155/95 or less and the applicant is otherwise qualified, then no further action is required and the certificate can be issued.

If the three-day blood pressure checks confirm the presence of hypertension, then treatment of some kind will generally be required for certification. Once a person is on a stable treatment plan and their blood pressure is adequately controlled without significant adverse effects, certification can be considered. When the FAA is notified for the first time about an aviator who has initiated treatment for high blood pressure, the following items will need to be reviewed and cleared by an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME):

  1. Complete review of pertinent history including personal, social, and family history related to hypertension and risk factor analysis for complications;
  2. Statement from treating physician describing the effects of treatment and any risk factor modification program;
  3. Representative blood pressure readings;
  4. Laboratory testing to include electrolyte, lipid profile, and glucose;
  5. Resting ECG.

If the above is acceptable, the AME may issue the medical certificate, good for its normal duration.

For an individual who has already reported the hypertension and received an initial clearance, the follow-up requirements at the next and subsequent FAA medical exams are very simple. All that is required is a statement from the treating physician that the individual is in good health and having no blood pressure related problems and including some sample blood pressure readings.

Click on links for the procedures for additional specific and detailed FAA instructions on initial reporting, medication discussion and followup procedures:

List of Medical Problems
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