A blood pressure profile (BPP) is often used to diagnose and manage hypertension in pregnancy. However, there is no consensus on the number and interval of blood pressure (BP) readings required.
To ascertain whether BP readings at 15‐min interval over one hour yields clinically equivalent results to readings at 60‐min interval over three hours.
Materials and methods
Eighty unique women were recruited to this prospective study. Automated BP machines were used to take readings at 15‐min interval over one hour and at 60‐min interval over three hours. The mean systolic and diastolic BPs obtained using each regimen were calculated and compared. Women also completed a questionnaire to evaluate the psychosocial and financial impact of a prolonged outpatient investigation.
BP readings from 67 patients were included for analysis. Clinical equivalence was assessed using the British Hypertension Society (BHS) validation criteria for comparing nonmercury devices to the gold‐standard calibrated mercury device. Mean SBP readings for 54% (36/67), 90% (60/67) and 97% (65/67) and mean DBP readings for 73% (49/67), 94% (63/67) and 100% (67/67) were within 5, 10 and 15 mmHg agreement across the two time regimens which achieved grade B and grade A validation, respectively. A BPP was costly and stressful for women and affected their ability to attend work and look after other children.
A BPP performed over one hour compared to over three hours yields clinically equivalent results, yet has psychosocial and financial advantages.