The effect of crossing legs on blood pressure in hypertensive patients

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Aims.The aim of this study was to examine whether there is any difference between BP readings with patients crossing a leg at the knee level and uncrossing during BP measurement.Background.It is clear that numerous factors influence an individual's blood pressure (BP) measurement. However, guidelines for accurately measuring BP inconsistently specify that the patient should keep feet flat on the floor.Design.Repeated measures.Method.Using a mercury-filled column sphygmomanometer, BP was measured at uncrossed leg position, crossed leg position and again at uncrossed leg position in 283 unmedicated or medicated patients. Three experienced nurses specially trained for the study performed BP measurements.Results.The results indicated that BP increased significantly with the crossed leg position. Systolic and diastolic BP significantly increased approximately 10 and 8 mmHg, respectively.Conclusion.Crossing the leg at knee results in a significant increase in BP.Relevance to clinical practice.Leg position during measurement of BP should be standardised and mentioned in publications.

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