Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

pp 1-3

Date: Latest Version

Ambulatory Blood Pressure

  • Derek JohnstonAffiliated withSchool of Psychology, University of Aberdeen Email author 
  • , Ydwine ZanstraAffiliated withThe Amsterdam University College


Real-life blood pressure monitoring


Ambulatory blood pressure is arterial blood pressure measured in real-life settings by an automatic device.


Blood pressure (BP) was first measured in the eighteenth century by Halles following Harvey’s work on the circulation of blood. It has been measured in the clinic and operating theater since the early part of the twentieth century and its utility as a predictor of cardiovascular disease established in the second half of the century. The ambulatory measurement of BP (ABPM) outside the clinic or laboratory is a development of the later part of the century. Despite its comparatively recent origin, it is now regarded as the measure of choice clinically since it provides a more reliable and valid measure of an individual’s BP and is a better predictor of later disease, perhaps because it reduces “white coat” hypertension, the elevation of BP produced in some individuals when BP is measured in a medical setting. The majorit ...

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