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The Effect of Cuff Size on Blood Pressure Measurement in Adults.

Sprafka, J. Michael; Strickland, Daniel; Gómez-Marín, Orlando; Prineas, Ronald J.
Epidemiology: May 1991
Brief Report: PDF Only

We measured blood pressure differences by cuff size in 181 adults aged 25 to 74 years, allocated to a random sequence that involved the measurement of blood pressure using a small cuff, a large cuff, and an appropriate cuff as determined by standardized arm circumference measurement. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure were underestimated by 3-5 mm Hg in men and 1-3 mm Hg in women when the cuff was one size larger than appropriate. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure were overestimated by 2-6 mm Hg in men and 3-4 mm Hg in women when the cuff was one size smaller than appropriate. In addition, 30-40% of subjects were "misclassihed" when blood pressure cutpoints were used to define hypertension

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