Testing the Reliability of Drugstore Blood Pressure Machines

Published Online: Wednesday, January 1, 2003

Drugstore blood pressure machines have been found to be acceptably accurate, according to a recent study conducted by the University of Saskatchewan?provided that people use them properly. Half of the volunteers in the study had normal blood pressure, and half were being treated for hypertension. Researchers measured blood pressure in 1 arm with a traditional blood pressure cuff, and in the other arm with the electronic machine.

The machines were found to overestimate blood pressure by about 8 mm Hg for systolic blood pressure and by about 4 mm Hg for diastolic blood pressure. The study concluded that ?if a patient?s blood pressure is at goal in the drugstore, it is unlikely to be above goal in the physician?s office."

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