The systemic blood pressure reacts to various forms of external and internal stimulation; consequently, it is subject to considerable variation. This reactivity of the blood pressure can be measured by a standard test in which local cold is used as the stimulus.1
Excessive variability of the blood pressure may have important significance even though the blood pressure is below accepted maximal levels. Recent studies have indicated that vasomotor reactions, as measured by responses in blood pressure, may be hereditary and that an excessive generalized vasoconstrictor response to stimulation is indicative of a prehypertensive state.1
Many statistical studies on the blood pressure of children have been carried out in which the usual methods of measuring the levels of blood pressure have been applied.2 There has been considerable disagreement in some of the data obtained by the different investigators. It was felt that some of these differences could be explained on a basis of the latent variability of the blood pressure. Merely to have the blood pressure taken may be a sufficient stimulus to bring it to a maximal level, but since the rise will be maximal in some instances and partial in others the results will not be comparable. For this reason it was believed that it would be of importance to study the range of variability of the blood pressure as well as the actual
HINES EA. REACTION OF THE BLOOD PRESSURE OF 400 SCHOOL CHILDREN TO A STANDARD STIMULUS. JAMA. 1937;108(15):1249–1250. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780150023006
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