Clinical value of accurate blood pressure measurement

Years funded:

High blood pressure (BP) is the single largest modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease and contributes to the highest level of global disease burden. 

Accurate BP measurement is among the most important of all medical tests, yet our recent research found that standard cuff measured BP is inaccurate and leads to inappropriate diagnosis of the true risk related to BP. 

This highlights the need to find more accurate ways to measure BP. We have achieved this by, firstly discovering a major cause of the inaccuracy in cuff measured BP (which won an international prize at the ARTERY16 conference, Copenhagen, Oct 2016) and, secondly by then creating a new method to measure BP with unparalleled accuracy compared with invasively measured BP. 

The goal of this research project is to take the next logical steps to determine if the new more accurate BP is a better measure of cardiovascular risk than standard BP. 

This will be done by association with markers of organ damage (i.e. the heart, large arteries and kidneys) among 1,900 people from two established studies. 

We hypothesise that the new BP method will be a stronger correlate of organ damage than standard BP. This research will ultimately lead to the new more accurate BP method being used in clinical practice. With the new method, doctors will be more reliably informed, leading to better clinical decisions, reduced cardiovascular events and lower health care costs.

Researcher Profile

Professor James Sharman

Institute: University of Tasmania
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