Background and objective: The aims of this study were to collect normal data on blood pressure in healthy children aged 4-8 and to compare measurements of blood pressure made in the same subjects with a shygmomanometer and a portable automated oscillometric BP monitor ((OMRON HEM 711 with child cuff).
Methods: Cross-sectional observational study of 764 children. BP measurements were made at school, using both a sphygmomanometer and an Omron HEM 711. Immediately after the BP measurement children were asked to state which device they preferred (if any).
Results: Children had no preference for whether the sphygmomanometer or the Omron was used. Bland Altman plots showed a lack of consistency between the two methods of BP measurement. With systolic BP there was a trend for the Omron to underestimate when low, and overestimate when high.
Conclusions: Children were equally distributed in their preference for BP device. There was a wide variation between the two methods of BP measurement, which suggests that comparison of automated BP measurements with normative data obtained by sphygmomanometer is not valid.