The variability of blood pressure following repeated measurements

Med J Malaysia. 1991 Dec;46(4):356-62.


Two series of Blood Pressure (BP) measurements were carried out to assess the variability in BP following repeated measurements in normotensive individuals. In one series, measurement of BP on three occasions three and seven days apart revealed a significant drop in BP in unaccustomed subjects ('untrained'). In a second series assessing the significance of time-interval between measurements or the number of measurements, it was found that a significant fall in BP occurred over the first four days in 'untrained' individuals, whose blood pressure was measured repeatedly for five consecutive days. A significant positive correlation was evident between the falls in systolic and diastolic pressures and the pressure at first screening. Assessment of the anxiety status revealed a significantly lower state anxiety in 'trained' subjects. It therefore appears that (a) BP in normotensive individuals previously unaccustomed to BP measurements, drops significantly with repeated measurements, (b) the number of measurements seem more important than the time-interval between measurements, (c) the largest falls occur in individuals with high initial pressures and (d) the fall upon repeated measurements may be due to reduced anxiety as familiarity with the procedure makes the subjects comparatively relaxed and less state anxious.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Pressure Determination
  • Blood Pressure*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Reproducibility of Results