- The American Heart Association (AHA) has issued a scientific statement on the measurement of BP, with a wide range of information on everything from technique, timing, and devices to best approaches in specific patient populations.
Why this matters
- The statement is a timely update of a 2005 scientific statement and follows on the 2017 guidelines from the AHA and partner organizations.
- The authors take a close look at oscillometric devices.
- The statement takes a close look at appropriate cuff size, correct body position, and competence of the person doing the measurement.
- It offers a table that breaks proper measurement technique into 6 steps:
- Patient preparation: 3-5 minutes seated without talking, feet flat on floor, back supported; exam table is not appropriate.
- Proper technique: validated device, correct cuff size and position.
- Proper measurement: first record in both arms, use the arm with higher reading for future; separate repeats by 1-2 minutes.
- Proper documentation: record systolic/diastolic values to nearest even number.
- Average: average ≥2 readings on ≥2 occasions for proper BP estimation.
- Tell the patient their readings.
- Algorithms for distinguishing white-coat vs masked hypertension also provided.
- Addresses specific populations, such as pediatrics, pregnancy, and technology (e.g., smartphone measurement).