Research Article

Influence of arm position on measurement of blood pressure.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984; 288 doi: (Published 26 May 1984) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984;288:1574
  1. J Webster,
  2. D Newnham,
  3. J C Petrie,
  4. H G Lovell


    A series of measurements of blood pressure in normotensive and hypertensive subjects showed that measurements made with a sphygmomanometer with the arm dependent by the side were consistently higher than those made with the arm horizontal at heart level. The mean difference in a group of 90 hypertensive outpatients was 11/12 mm Hg. Failure to appreciate the importance of arm position may lead to erroneous measurements of blood pressure. This has important implications for clinical practice and research.