The American Heart Association has updated its 2005 statement on blood pressure (BP) measurement. Some highlights published in Hypertension are as follows:
- For office BP measurement, oscillometric devices can limit the human error seen with auscultatory methods. An automated device that can average three or more readings is the preferred approach; leaving the patient alone may help ensure that he or she does not talk during the measurement.
- For self-measurement at home, a clinician should first check the upper-arm cuff for accuracy.
The statement also includes useful tables outlining steps for proper in-office, home, and ambulatory BP measurement; algorithms for screening for white-coat and masked hypertension; and special considerations for measuring BP in children, pregnant women, older adults, obese patients, and those with arrhythmias (a condition in which the heart beats with an irregular or abnormal rhythm).