News Perspectives

Cuff Size Affects Blood Pressure Accuracy

Taking your blood pressure can help diagnose a problem that could increase your risk of stroke and heart attack. But if you take the reading yourself at the drug store or the mall, you might not get an accurate result, U.S. officials warn. That's because the cuff might be the wrong size for you. Doctors can choose from many cuff sizes to get an accurate reading. But many public blood pressure machines have only one cuff. If the cuff is too small, the blood pressure reading may be too high, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said. If it's too big for you, the reading may be too low. Or maybe the machine won't work at all. It may help to know the size of your upper arm so you can see if the kiosk's cuff is the right size for you. The FDA said it's important to remember that a diagnosis of high blood pressure is not based on just one reading.

To continue reading this article you must be registered.

Get Licensed Content to Harvard Health

If you are interested in licensing content from Harvard Health Publications, please contact us using our online form. Our licensing and business development professionals will help you leverage consumer health content from Harvard Medical School as a clear differentiator in helping achieve your business goals.

Contact Us

Customer Log In