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Research Article

Effect of environment on blood pressure: home versus hospital.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983; 286 doi: (Published 16 April 1983) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983;286:1235
  1. M A Young,
  2. D B Rowlands,
  3. T J Stallard,
  4. R D Watson,
  5. W A Littler


    The effect of environment on blood pressure was studied by recording intra-arterial pressure continuously in nine patients with essential hypertension during controlled periods of activity and rest at home and in hospital. Mean systolic pressure was higher at home (152 +/- 16 mm Hg) than in hospital (138 +/- 11 mm Hg, p less than 0.01), the difference being greatest during the period of activity (165 +/- 21 v 142 +/- 13 mm Hg, p less than 0.001); heart rates and diastolic pressures did not differ significantly at these times. Systolic pressure recorded by conventional sphygmomanometry was also higher at home (173 +/- 23 v 159 +/- 23 mm Hg, p less than 0.01), as was diastolic pressure (98 +/- 10 v 89 +/- 11 mm Hg, p less than 0.02). Systolic pressure was consistently higher at home, and this effect was independent of the pressure of an observer. This must be taken into consideration when assessing blood pressure and efficacy of treatment in hospital.