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February 26, 2003

Measuring Blood Pressure AccuratelyNew and Persistent Challenges

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Medicine, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson (Dr Jones); Department of Epidemiology and International Health, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Md (Dr Appel); Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn (Dr Sheps); and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bethesda, Md (Drs Roccella and Lenfant).

JAMA. 2003;289(8):1027-1030. doi:10.1001/jama.289.8.1027

High blood pressure is a major public health issue, affecting approximately 25% of US adults, or roughly 50 million Americans.1 The prevalence of high blood pressure increases dramatically with age, such that the lifetime risk of high blood pressure approaches 100%.2 Despite the availability of effective antihypertensive agents, rates of hypertension treatment and control have remained low and static over the last decade. Control of blood pressure begins with accurate measurement leading to appropriate diagnosis and treatment decisions.

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