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View Full Version : high blood pressure? It could be the size of your arm



Dr Pangloss
07-10-2009, 03:06 PM
below is a study conducted with different cuff sizes on obese patients to determine blood pressure. The conclusion is that if you use too small a cuff for your arm, there is a very good chance you will get a fale-high reading.

This happened to me. i have about 19" arms, so I went out and purchased a large cuff, and my blood pressure is normal.

1: Arch Intern Med. (http://javascript<b></b>:AL_get(this, 'jour', 'Arch Intern Med.');) 1984 Jul;144(7):1482-5.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/corehtml/query/egifs/http:--highwire.stanford.edu-icons-externalservices-pubmed-custom-archinte_full.gif (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/utils/fref.fcgi?PrId=3051&itool=AbstractPlus-def&uid=6732409&db=pubmed&url=http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=6732409) Links (http://javascript<b></b>:PopUpMenu2_Set(Menu6732409);)

Spurious hypertension in the obese patient. Effect of sphygmomanometer cuff size on prevalence of hypertension.

Linfors EW (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed&Cmd=Search&Term=%22Linfors%20EW%22%5BAuthor%5D&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlus), Feussner JR (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed&Cmd=Search&Term=%22Feussner%20JR%22%5BAuthor%5D&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlus), Blessing CL (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed&Cmd=Search&Term=%22Blessing%20CL%22%5BAuthor%5D&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlus), Starmer CF (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed&Cmd=Search&Term=%22Starmer%20CF%22%5BAuthor%5D&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlus), Neelon FA (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed&Cmd=Search&Term=%22Neelon%20FA%22%5BAuthor%5D&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlus), McKee PA (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed&Cmd=Search&Term=%22McKee%20PA%22%5BAuthor%5D&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlus).
We used standard, large adult, and thigh-size cuffs in random order to take BPs in 470 patients. The prevalences of definite high BP [( HBP]), greater than or equal to 160/95 mm Hg) and borderline HBP [( BHBP ], greater than or equal to 140/90 less than 160/95 mm Hg) were the same with all three cuffs in patients with an arm circumference less than 35 cm, a body mass index less than 34, and a weight of less than 95 kg. The large adult and thigh cuffs did not underestimate the prevalence of HBP in these nonobese patients. The prevalences of HBP and BHBP were twofold greater with the standard cuff than with the large adult or thigh cuffs in obese patients (arm circumference greater than or equal to 35 cm or body mass index greater than or equal to 34 or weight greater than or equal to 95 kg). Routine use of the large adult cuff will provide accurate BP measurement and avoid unneeded evaluation and treatment.

Dr Pangloss
07-10-2009, 03:07 PM
Could someone move this to "bodybuilding Science." I mistakenly posted it here.

B7emm
07-10-2009, 03:11 PM
the pressure cuffs in most in store units like target wal-mart etc.. are for 13 in arms. it states this on the unit its self.

Suzy Brown
07-10-2009, 03:11 PM
It happened to me too. The cuff couldn't accomodate my 10.25" gunz. I was on meds for like 12 years before anyone even noticed!!!

ChunkyThunder
07-10-2009, 03:13 PM
I've been in the hospital for the last 3 days and every time the nurse took my bp with a small cuff or on my bicep or on my forearm (they said it was fine lol) my BP was really high. Every time I got the nurse to switch the cuff to a larger cuff my BP was normal. I had my BP taken about 30 times over the last 3 days. It rang true every time

Dr Pangloss
07-10-2009, 03:16 PM
Hey, maybe it should be left here. At least people will read it.


Swann, you're going to have to talk to the factory and get your bp cuffs made special.

Werd.

Suzy Brown
07-10-2009, 03:24 PM
10.25 COLD, I forgot to mention that.

The Thinker
07-10-2009, 03:31 PM
No problem with this study is I did not see any reference to how much FAT was on the arm. I bet the hypothesis does not hold for bodybuilders with huge arms.

Dr Pangloss
07-10-2009, 03:45 PM
No problem with this study is I did not see any reference to how much FAT was on the arm. I bet the hypothesis does not hold for bodybuilders with huge arms.


there are other studies, not just this one. done with all kinds of levels of obesity etc. Same thing.

results apply whether its fat or muscle.

Mr. Dead
07-16-2009, 06:24 PM
At the clinic where I work, this is something that we commonly do... Granted... In our case it's because the pt is so obese... But cuff size does make a huge difference in blood pressure readings, whether done by machine or manually...

badfish51581
07-16-2009, 06:58 PM
So the real question is...

How valuable is this number then? Is there another way that I'm unaware of that you can measure blood pressure reliably? I mean if you can easily alter the numbers through cuff size then isn't it almost arbitrary? Obviously there are studies using standard cuffs on people that fit within those standard sizes that indicate certain ranges predispose them to ailments like stroke, heart attack, etc, but are there studies giving a baseline for people who don't fit within those standards?

Dr Pangloss
07-16-2009, 06:59 PM
So the real question is...

How valuable is this number then? Is there another way that I'm unaware of that you can measure blood pressure reliably? I mean if you can easily alter the numbers through cuff size then isn't it almost arbitrary? Obviously there are studies using standard cuffs on people that fit within those standard sizes that indicate certain ranges predispose them to ailments like stroke, heart attack, etc, but are there studies giving a baseline for people who don't fit within those standards?


It's very reliable with the appropriate cuff size. that's what the study above finds.