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Table 1 Reported effect of different factors of observed blood pressure levels

From: Challenges in standardization of blood pressure measurement at the population level

Related to Factor Effect on systolic blood pressure (mmHg) Effect on diastolic blood pressure (mmHg)
Environment in which measurement is conducted Cold room vs. comfortable room temperature [2] 14 mmHg 15 mmHg
Person being measured Full bladder [3,4] 10–15 mmHg, in case of uncomfortably distended bladder 10 mmHg, in case of uncomfortably distended bladder 40 mmHg
50 mmHg
Heavy physical exercise before measurement [3] 18–20 mmHg 7–9 mmHg
Heavy meal before measurement [3] 20 mmHg 20 mmHg
Smoking before measurement [3] 10 mmHg 8 mmHg
Measurement procedure Not resting at least 5 min before measurement [5] 10–20 mmHg 14 mmHg
Left arm vs. right arm [6] 1–3 mmHg 1 mmHg
Supine vs. sitting [7] 3–10 mmHg 1–5 mmHg
Back/feet unsupported vs. supported [4] 5–15 mmHg 6 mmHg
Arm unsupported during the measurement vs. arm supported [4,11] 1–7 mmHg 5–11 mmHg
Legs crossed vs. not crossed [8] 5–8 mmHg 3–5 mmHg
Talking during the measurement vs. silent [4,12] 17 mmHg 13 mmHg
Arm below heart level vs. arm at the heart level [9-11] 10 mmHg 10 mmHg
Cuff over clothing vs. cuff on bare arm [4] 5 mmHg not reported
Device Cuff too large [11] 10–30 mmHg 10–30 mmHg
Cuff too small [11] 3–12 mmHg, in obese persons 2–8 mmHg, in obese persons
30 mmHg 30 mmHg
Diaphragm of stethoscope vs. bell (auscultation method used) [16,17] 0–2 mmHg 0–2 mmHg
  Calibration error [18,19] 0–5 mmHg 0–5 mmH
  1. Arrow upwards: increases observed blood pressure level; arrow down wards: decreases observed blood pressure level.