Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952576 | Print ISBN: 9780761923602 | Online ISBN: 9781412952576| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Blood Pressure and Hypertension: Measurement
Julian F. Thayer
Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a major risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. As such, the accurate measurement of blood pressure (the pressure in the blood vessels associated with the flow of blood with each heart beat) and the assessment of hypertension are essential to the health of the population. In the 175 years since Poiseuille described the use of the mercury manometer to measure blood pressure, the accurate assessment of blood pressure has remained a challenge to clinicians and researchers alike (Jones, Appel, Sheps, Rocella, & Lenfant, 2003; Poiseuille, 1828). The early assessments required invasive measures to attach an artery to the recording device, severely limiting the routine assessment of blood pressure. However, recent advances now permit blood pressure to be recorded on a beat-to-beat basis in ambulatory subjects thus allowing blood pressure to be linked to environmental, situational, and behavioral factors (Parati, Omboni, & Mancia, 1995). This ...