Differing prevalence estimates of elevated blood pressure in ED patients using 4 methods of categorization

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Emergency Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Adult; Aged; Continuity of Patient Care; Emergency Service, Hospital; Female; Humans; Hypertension; Male; Middle Aged; Practice Guidelines as Topic; Prevalence; Prospective Studies; Referral and Consultation; Triage


Emergency Medicine


OBJECTIVE: This study examined the variability of blood pressure measurements and prevalence estimates of elevated blood pressure in emergency department (ED) patients using 4 different methods of categorization.

METHODS: A prospective, observational study was conducted on adult ED patients with elevated triage blood pressures (systolic > or = 140 or diastolic > or = 90 mm Hg). Three blood pressure measurements were obtained on all subjects and categorized as follows: (1) triage measurement only, (2) the mean of the triage and second measurement, (3) the mean of the 3 measurements, and (4) the mean of the second and third measurements.

RESULTS: Of 2192 screened patients, 326 were included in the final analysis with mean triage systolic and diastolic blood pressures of 160 and 90 mm Hg, respectively. Prevalence estimates of elevated blood pressure in this sample ranged from 100% (reference standard: mean triage blood pressure) to the most conservative estimate of 67% (fourth method).

CONCLUSION: Determination of elevated blood pressure in ED patients is largely dependent on the method of blood pressure categorization.

DOI of Published Version



Am J Emerg Med. 2008 Jun;26(5):561-5. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The American journal of emergency medicine


At the time of publication, Edwin Boudreaux was not yet affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID