Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

AHA Statement: Accurate Measurement of BP

Hypertension; ePub 2019 Mar 4; Muntner, et al

Oscillometric devices can reduce human error and allow for accurate blood pressure (BP) measurement in healthcare office settings, while patients who measure their BP pressure at home should us a device with an upper arm cuff that had been checked for accuracy by a healthcare provider, according to a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association (AHA). The statement, which updates a previous AHA statement published in 2005, provides an overview of what is currently known about BP measurement and supports recommendations in the 2017 American College of Cardiology/AHA Guideline for the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Management of High Blood Pressure. Among the statement’s highlights:

  • In the office setting, the use of oscillometric devices (which use an electronic pressure sensor within the BP cuff), provides an approach to obtain a valid BP measurement that may reduce the human error associated with auscultatory measurements.
  • The use of a validated automated office BP (AOBP) device that can be programmed to take and average at least 3 BP readings should be considered the preferred approach for evaluating office BP.
  • Home BP monitoring is an alternative when ambulatory BP monitoring is not available or tolerated, and only validated BP devices should be used.


Muntner P, Shimbo D, Carey RM, et al. Measurement of blood pressure in humans. A scientific statement from the American Heart Association. [Published online ahead of print March 4, 2019]. Hypertension. doi:10.1161/HYP.0000000000000087.

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