Women's BP Measurements Higher When Taken by Doctors

Both systolic and diastolic readings lower when taken by nurse or automated device
By Monica Smith
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, July 27 (HealthDay News) -- Female patients with normal blood pressure (BP) may have significantly higher systolic and diastolic readings when their BP is taken by a physician rather than a nurse or automated device, according to research published in the August issue of Applied Nursing Research.

Ülkü Yapucu Günes, Ph.D., of the Ege University School of Nursing in Izmir, Turkey, studied data on the BP measurements of 163 normotensive women taken by a physician, a nurse, and an automated device to see if there were differences in the readings.

The author found that mean systolic BP taken by physicians was 124.3 mm Hg, compared with that taken by nurses (116.5 mm Hg) and automated devices (116.3 mm Hg). Mean diastolic BP was also higher when taken by a physician (81.6 mm Hg), compared with a nurse (78.7 mm Hg) and an automated device (77.6 mm Hg).

"The results from this study show that systolic and diastolic BP taken using an automated device in normotensive females are significantly lower than the readings obtained by the physician and are almost identical to those taken by the nurse. Physicians should therefore not make any decisions based on BP measured manually during a first encounter and should rely on BP reported by well-trained observers or by validated automatic devices," the author writes.

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