Objective: To compare blood pressure measurements taken in routine clinical practice using an automated recorder, the BpTRU (VSM MedTech Ltd, Coquitlam, Canada), with readings taken by a conventional mercury sphygmomanometer.
Methods: Fifty consecutive patients [28 women, 22 men; mean (+/-SD) age 62+/-16 years] referred to a specialist for management of hypertension had blood pressure taken on the first visit in random order using both a mercury sphygmomanometer and an automated device.
Results: The mean initial automated reading (mmHg) taken with the observer present (162+/-27/85+/-12) was similar to the mean manual blood pressure taken in duplicate (163+/-23/86+12). Both values were higher (P<0.001) than the mean of the next five readings taken with the automated recorder when the patient was resting quietly alone (142+/-21/80+/-12). Women exhibited a greater fall in blood pressure with the automated device than men.
Conclusions: Use of an automated blood pressure recorder can eliminate some of the white-coat effect associated with readings taken by a mercury sphygmomanometer.