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July 22, 1939


Author Affiliations

Chicago; St. Louis; Montreal; New York; Philadelphia; New York; Boston; Cleveland; New York, Chairman

JAMA. 1939;113(4):294-297. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.72800290001008

It has long been realized by thoughtful teachers and practitioners of medicine that the wide variations noted in blood pressure1 records of the same individual were due not only to changes in the pressure from time to time under different conditions but also to differences in the methods and interpretation used by the observers. A recent survey2 revealed a serious lack of agreement among physicians as to the correct technic for taking and interpreting the blood pressure. Equally confusing was the situation among insurance companies as to what they should require of their examiners in this regard. Experiments with multiaural stethoscopes demonstrated that recent years have brought little if any improvement in this situation, since the variations among the recently qualified were as great as those among attending physicians, and the range of error was too great among all groups tested. The committees for the standardization of methods