Mercury-free sphygmomanometers are gradually replacing the traditional sphygmomanometers in clinical settings and epidemiological surveys for measuring blood pressure (BP) due to mercury toxicity. No direct comparative studies have evaluated BP differences and statistical errors of automated oscillometric devices (ODs) against electronic auscultatory devices (ADs) for epidemiologic surveys. Herein, we evaluated the validity of ODs for the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) using the Universal Standard for BP device validation through a direct comparison with ADs as the reference standard. Four trained observers performed validation on 278 volunteers aged≥19 years with a standardized BP measurement protocol. Agreement between the BP measurements recorded with an OD against those recorded with an AD was assessed by Lin's concordance correlation coefficient (CCC) and Bland-Altman's limits of agreement. To evaluate the agreement for BP classification, weighted kappa values were estimated. To explore the factors associated with BP measurement differences between the 2 devices, multiple linear regression analysis was performed. The average BP differences (OD-AD) were 2.6±6.2 mm Hg for systolic BP (SBP) and -5.1±5.6 mm Hg for diastolic BP (DBP). Lin's CCCs were 0.927 and 0.768 for the overall SBP and DBP, respectively. The cumulative percentage of absolute errors≤10 mm Hg was 88.1% for SBP and 81.3% for DBP. The weighted kappa value for the Joint National Committee 7 BP classification was 0.75 (95% confidence interval: 0.68-0.81). An OD overestimated the prevalence of SBP (0.3%, P=.0222) and underestimated the prevalence of DBP (1.8%, P<.0001). Multivariate analysis to identify the risk factors for BP difference revealed the arm circumference (AC) to be negatively associated with BP difference. Male sex was positively associated, while age was negatively associated with SBP difference. OD-DBP was positively associated with DBP difference and negatively associated for DBP absolute error. ODs met the accuracy requirements of the Universal Standard criteria against ADs for SBP but not for DBP. Thus, the DBP values may be underestimated by ODs in the KNHANES.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was partially supported by a grant from the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency  and from Wonkwang University .
© Copyright 2022 the Author(s). Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.
- blood pressure determination
- health survey