Effects Of Cuff Size On The Accuracy Of Blood Pressure Readings

9 Aug 2023 • In a randomized crossover trial, 195 adults were included with a mean age of 54 years, 34% male, and 68% Black. Among those requiring a small blood pressure (BP) cuff, using a regular BP cuff led to significantly lower BP readings (mean systolic BP difference of -3.6 mm Hg). However, for individuals needing a large or extra-large BP cuff, using a regular cuff resulted in significantly higher BP readings (mean systolic BP differences of 4.8 mm Hg and 19.5 mm Hg, respectively).

  • The study also found that the inaccuracies in BP measurements were more pronounced when overcuffing or undercuffing by 1 or 2 cuff sizes, particularly in individuals needing larger BP cuffs.
  • These findings were consistent across different subgroups based on systolic BP and body mass index.
  • The researchers concluded that using an improperly sized BP cuff can lead to highly inaccurate BP measurements. This is especially concerning in situations where a single regular BP cuff size is routinely used for all individuals, irrespective of their arm size.

The study underscores the importance of selecting an appropriately sized BP cuff for each individual to ensure accurate BP measurements.

Source: JAMA Internal Medicine | Read full story

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