The Importance of Accurate Blood Pressure Measurement

The Importance of Accurate Blood Pressure MeasurementJoel Handler, MD

Summer 2009 - Volume 13 Number 3

Clinical Scenario

A woman, age 72 years, has blood pressures of 150/70 mm Hg and 150/80 mm Hg, obtained by a medical assistant (MA), on consecutive office visits and does not have a history of hypertension. The blood pressure cuff is properly sized, the MA is inquiring about the patient’s last mammogram while obtaining the blood pressure, and the patient is helping to hold her arm up within the MA’s grasp. The mean of a dozen blood pressure readings that the patient has obtained at home is 128/64 mm Hg. Does this patient have white-coat hypertension?

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