Reproducibility of blood pressure measurements

Gianfranco Parati, Luisa Ulian, Cinzia Santucciu, Giuseppe Mancia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Clinic blood pressure readings are less reproducible than 24 h and daytime average ambulatory blood pressures. This may depend on (1) the continuous and spontaneous variability which characterizes daily life blood pressure, (2) the well-known 'white-coat' effect and (3) other methodological problems affecting traditional sphygmomanometric readings, such as the observer's bias and digit preference. The higher reproducibility of average 24 h and daytime blood pressures is also, at least in part, a function of the greater number of blood pressure readings available. On the other hand, the various components of the 24 h blood pressure profile appear, in general, to be less reproducible than the 24 h average value. This is the case for hourly values, for the day-night blood pressure difference and for a number of statistical parameters employed for modelling the 24 h blood pressure curve. An alternative and simple way to obtain reproducible blood pressure values, without making use of ambulatory blood pressure monitoring techniques, may be offered by the average of 20-25 blood pressure readings obtained automatically or semi-automatically under standardized conditions in outpatient clinics. The implications of these findings for clinical trials aimed at evaluating the features of the effects of antihypertensive drugs on 24 h blood pressure are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-209
Number of pages5
JournalBlood Pressure Monitoring
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • 'White-coat' effect
  • Ambulatory blood pressure
  • Blood pressure reproducibility
  • Clinical trials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Internal Medicine


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