Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

Living Edition
| Editors: Marc Gellman

Blood Pressure Classification

  • Bruce S. AlpertEmail author
  • Marc D. Gellman
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6439-6_102010-1



Blood pressure (BP) as utilized in human research and medical care is the hydrostatic pressure exerted by blood contained within systemic arteries. Blood pressure is usually reported as the combination of two values: systolic (SBP), which is the highest BP value as the heart muscle contracts, and diastolic (DBP), the lowest value of BP that occurs just before the heart begins to contract again. The units used in the United States are mmHg.


Accurate BP Estimation

Intra-arterial catheterization is the only way to measure BP; all noninvasive assessments of BP are estimates. Traditional auscultatory estimation was described by Korotkoff in 1905 (Korotkoff 1905). It still represents a “gold standard” against which to compare other, usually automated, techniques.

To insure reliable,...
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References and Further Readings

  1. Alpert, B. S., Quinn, D., & Gallick, D. (2014). Oscillometric blood pressure: A review for clinicians. Journal of the American Society of Hypertension, 8, 930–938.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation. American national standard: Non-invasive sphygmomanometers – Part 2: Clinical investigation of automated measurement type ANSI/AAMI/ISO 2013; 81060-2. Arlington.Google Scholar
  3. Korotkoff, N. S. (1905). On the subject of methods of measuring blood pressure. Bull Imp Military Medical Academy, 11, 365–367.Google Scholar
  4. Pickering, T. G., Hall, J. E., Appel, L. J., Falkner, B. E., Graves, J., Hill, M. N., Jones, D. W., Kurtz, T., Sheps, S. G., & Roccella, E. J. (2005). Recommendations for blood pressure measurement in humans and experimental animals, part I: Blood pressure measurement in humans. A statement for professionals from the subcommittee of professional and public education of the American Heart Association Council on High Blood Pressure Research. Circulation, 111, 697–716.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Vischer AS, Socrates T, Winterhalder C, Eckstein J, Mayr M, Burkard T (2019) Impact of single-visit American versus European office blood pressure measurement procedure on individual blood pressure classification: A cross-sectional study. Clinical Research in Cardiology.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00392-019-01426-wCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Whelton, P. K., Carey, R. M., Aronow, W. S., Casey, D. E., Jr., Collins, K. J., Himmelfarb, D., C., DePalma, S. M., Gidding, S., Jamerson, K. A., Jones, D. W., MacLaughlin, E. J., Muntner, P., Ovbiagele, B., Smith, S. C., Jr., Spencer, C. C., Stafford, R. S., Taler, S. J., Thomas, R. J., Williams, K. A., Sr., Williamson, J. D., & Wright, J. T., Jr. (2017). ACC/AHA/AAPA/ABC/ACPM/AGS/APhA/ASH/ASPC/NMA/PCNA guideline for the prevention, detection, evaluation, and management of high blood pressure in adults: Executive summary. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 2017.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2017.11.005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Williams, B., Mancia,G., Spiering, W., Agabiti Rosei, E., Azizi, M., Burnier, M., Clement, D. L., Coca, A., de Simone, G., Dominiczak, A., Kahan, T., Mahfoud, F., Redon, J., Ruilope, L., Zanchetti, A., Kerins, M., Kjeldsen, S. E., Kreutz, R., Laurent, S., Lip, G. Y. H., McManus, R., Narkiewicz, K., Ruschitzka, F., Schmieder, R. E., Shlyakhto, E., Tsioufis, C., Aboyans, V., Desormais, I. (2018). ESC/ESH guidelines for the management of arterial hypertension. European Heart Journal, 39(33), 3021–3104.  https://doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehy33.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PediatricsUniversity of Tennessee Health Science CenterMemphisUSA
  2. 2.Behavioral Medicine Research CenterUniversity of MiamiMiamiUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Marc D. Gellman
    • 1
  1. 1.Behavioral Medicine Research Center, Department of PsychologyUniversity of MiamiMiamiUSA