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Randomised controlled trial
Automated blood pressure readings in primary care demonstrate better correlation to the gold standard of ambulatory monitoring than manual assessment
  1. Mark Nelson
  1. Menzies Research Institute, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Mark Nelson
    Menzies Research Institute, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 23, Hobart, TAS 7001, Australia; mark.nelson{at}

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Despite the use of gold standard equipment such as mercury sphygmomanometers in primary care for the measurement of blood pressure, accuracy remains a problem. This is due to a combination of system (eg, lack of calibration of instruments), physician (eg, observer error) and patient (eg, sympathetic drive) factors. Programmable automatic and semiautomatic oscillometric devices are likely to replace such devices because of occupational health concerns with the use of mercury.


This is a cluster randomised controlled study of an automated oscillometric blood pressure device method of determining blood pressure (intervention) versus usual manual measurement (control) in primary care. Both arms ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) measurements were also taken. The study included 555 patients with systolic hypertension (treated and untreated) and no serious comorbidities under the care of 88 primary care physicians in 67 Canadian primary care …

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  • Competing interests None.