: Automated cuff measured blood pressure (BP) is the global standard used for diagnosing hypertension, but there are concerns regarding the accuracy of the method. Individual variability in systolic BP (SBP) amplification from central (aorta) to peripheral (brachial) arteries could be related to the accuracy of cuff BP, but this has never been determined and was the aim of this study. Automated cuff BP and invasive brachial BP were recorded in 795 participants (74% male, aged 64 ± 11 years) receiving coronary angiography at five independent research sites (using seven different automated cuff BP devices). SBP amplification was recorded invasively by catheter and defined as brachial SBP minus aortic SBP. Compared with invasive brachial SBP, cuff SBP was significantly underestimated (130 ± 18 mmHg vs. 138 ± 22 mmHg, p < 0.001). The level of SBP amplification varied significantly among individuals (mean ± SD, 7.3 ± 9.1 mmHg) and was similar to level of difference between cuff and invasive brachial SBP (mean difference -7.6 ± 11.9 mmHg). SBP amplification explained most of the variance in accuracy of cuff SBP (R2 = 19%). The accuracy of cuff SBP was greatest among participants with the lowest SBP amplification (ptrend < 0.001). After cuff BP values were corrected for SBP amplification, there was a significant improvement in the mean difference from the intra-arterial standard (p < 0.0001) and in the accuracy of hypertension classification according to 2017 ACC/AHA guideline thresholds (p = 0.005). The level of SBP amplification is a critical factor associated with the accuracy of conventional automated cuff measured BP.
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