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Comparison of devices used to measure blood pressure, grip strength and lung function: a randomised cross-over study

Lessof, Carli, Cooper, Rachel, Wong, Andrew, Bendayan, Rebecca, Caleyachetty, Rishi, Cheshire, Hayley, Cosco, Theodore, Elhakeem, Ahmed, Hansell, Anna L., Kaushal, Aradhna, Kuh, Diana, Martin, David, Minelli, Cosetta, Muthuri, Stella, Popham, Maria, Shaheen, Seif O., Sturgis, Patrick ORCID: 0000-0003-1180-3493 and Hardy, Rebecca (2023) Comparison of devices used to measure blood pressure, grip strength and lung function: a randomised cross-over study. PLOS ONE, 18 (12). ISSN 1932-6203

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Identification Number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0289052


Background Blood pressure, grip strength and lung function are frequently assessed in longitudinal population studies, but the measurement devices used differ between studies and within studies over time. We aimed to compare measurements ascertained from different commonly used devices. Methods We used a randomised cross-over study. Participants were 118 men and women aged 45–74 years whose blood pressure, grip strength and lung function were assessed using two sphygmomanometers (Omron 705-CP and Omron HEM-907), four handheld dynamometers (Jamar Hydraulic, Jamar Plus+ Digital, Nottingham Electronic and Smedley) and two spirometers (Micro Medical Plus turbine and ndd Easy on-PC ultrasonic flow-sensor) with multiple measurements taken on each device. Mean differences between pairs of devices were estimated along with limits of agreement from Bland-Altman plots. Sensitivity analyses were carried out using alternative exclusion criteria and summary measures, and using multilevel models to estimate mean differences. Results The mean difference between sphygmomanometers was 3.9mmHg for systolic blood pressure (95% Confidence Interval (CI):2.5,5.2) and 1.4mmHg for diastolic blood pressure (95% CI:0.3,2.4), with the Omron HEM-907 measuring higher. For maximum grip strength, the mean difference when either one of the electronic dynamometers was compared with either the hydraulic or spring-gauge device was 4-5kg, with the electronic devices measuring higher. The differences were small when comparing the two electronic devices (difference = 0.3kg, 95% CI:-0.9,1.4), and when comparing the hydraulic and spring-gauge devices (difference = 0.2kg, 95% CI:-0.8,1.3). In all cases limits of agreement were wide. The mean difference in FEV1 between spirometers was close to zero (95% CI:-0.03,0.03), limits of agreement were reasonably narrow, but a difference of 0.47l was observed for FVC (95% CI:0.53,0.42), with the ndd Easy on-PC measuring higher. Conclusion Our study highlights potentially important differences in measurement of key functions when different devices are used. These differences need to be considered when interpreting results from modelling intra-individual changes in function and when carrying out cross-study comparisons, and sensitivity analyses using correction factors may be helpful.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 The Authors
Divisions: Methodology
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2024 12:24
Last Modified: 15 May 2024 17:51

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