European Society of Hypertension recommendations for conventional, ambulatory and home blood pressure measurement

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Over the past 20 years or so, the accuracy of the conventional Riva-Rocci/Korotkoff technique of blood pressure measurement has been questioned and efforts have been made to improve the technique with automated devices. In the same period, recognition of the phenomenon of white-coat hypertension, whereby some individuals with an apparent increase in blood pressure have normal, or reduced, blood pressures when measurement is repeated away from the medical environment, has focused attention on methods of measurement that provide profiles of blood pressure behaviour rather than relying on isolated measurements under circumstances that may in themselves influence the level of blood pressure recorded. These methodologies have included repeated measurements of blood pressure using the traditional technique, self-measurement of blood pressure in the home or work place, and ambulatory blood pressure measurement using innovative automated devices.
Blood pressure measurement is the basis for the diagnosis, management, treatment, epidemiology and research of hypertension, and the decisions affecting these aspects of hypertension will be influenced for better or worse by the accuracy of the measurement. An accurate blood pressure reading is a prerequisite, therefore, regardless of which technique is used, yet all too often the accuracy of measurement is taken for granted or ignored.
The purpose of this monograph is to serve as a reference source for other guidelines relating to hypertension and cardiovascular disease. The content is divided into four parts: Part I is devoted to issues common to all techniques of measurement, Part II to conventional blood pressure measurement (CBPM), Part III to ambulatory blood pressure measurement (ABPM) and Part IV to self blood pressure measurement (SBPM).

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