In spite of the large amount of work already done on blood pressure, there is still great need for information in regard to standards of normal. As so often happens in medicine, when physicians first discovered hypertension, they immediately devoted all their efforts to curing it, and only gradually and after many years did they become curious enough to undertake such studies as would enable them to determine when a given pressure represents disease and when it is only a physiologic variation from the average.
Even today there still is great need for a biologic or anthropologic approach to the problem. Figures which are commonly assumed to represent normal or average blood pressure in men and women at various ages are supplied by insurance companies, but these standards are not entirely satisfactory, partly because the original data are so often unreliable, but mainly because the persons measured represent a highly
ALVAREZ WC, STANLEY LL. BLOOD PRESSURE IN SIX THOUSAND PRISONERS AND FOUR HUNDRED PRISON GUARDS: A STATISTICAL ANALYSIS. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1930;46(1):17–39. doi:10.1001/archinte.1930.00140130020002
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