The use of successive blood-pressure measurements to estimate blood-pressure variability

Michael S. Glasgow, Bernard T. Engel, Burton C. D'Lugoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multiple daily, self-determined blood-pressure measurements were obtained from 254 hypertensive patients for 1 month. In an effort to establish a practical and reliable technique for estimating blood-pressure variability, standard deviations from three (at one time of day) or nine (throughout the day) successive self-determinations were compared with a reference value, taken to be the standard deviation for the entire month (252 determinations per subject). Neither the standard deviation of three measures taken on one occasion nor that of nine measures taken throughout the day correlated well with the reference value (average R3=.21 for SBP, .20 for DBP; average R9=.39 for SBP, .38 for DBP). However, when a sample consisting of 12 measures (taken three at a time, at the same time of day, weekly for 4 weeks) was used, the average correlation rose to .60 for SBP and .54 for DBP. Thus, it appears that 12 samples taken in this way provide a reliable estimate of the standard deviation for an entire month, and it is suggested that this sampling technique also would enhance the reliability of conclusions drawn from assessments of the prognostic value of blood-pressure variability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-446
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 1988


  • blood-pressure variability
  • hypertension
  • labile blood pressure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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