The Effect of Cuff Size on Blood Pressure Measurement in Adults


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Abstract

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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