Folsom A R (Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Stadium Gate 20, 611 Beacon Street SE, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455, USA), Prineas R J, Jacobs D R, Luepker R V and Gillum R F. Measured differences between fourth and fifth phase diastolic blood pressures in 4885 adults: Implications for blood pressure surveys. International Journal of Epidemiology 1984, 13: 436-441.To examine in detail the relationship between fourth (D4) and fifth (D5) phase diastolic blood pressures, we used data from risk factor surveys of 4885 adults. Observers were carefully trained using audio tapes and double-stethoscope exams to record the onset of the first, fourth (muffling), and fifth (disappearance) phases of Korotkoff sounds with random-zero sphygmomanometers. The expected size of the difference between D4 and D5 pressures (D4-D5) was not discussed with observers.D4-D5 was greater (mean± SEM)in men (2.4±0.1 mmHg) than in women (1.9 ±0.1 mmHg), but two thirds of D4-D5s were not measurable, that is, 0 mmHg. Larger D4-D5s were associated with higher systolic and D4 levels, lower D5 levels, and younger ages. D4-D5 varied markedly among observers. Approximately 58% of D4-D5s exceeding 10 mmHg occurred among six observers who measured 16% of the blood pressures. However, generally the difference between D4 and D5 measured by our observers and methods was smaller than commonly believed. The possible reasons for this are discussed. We recommend that epidemiological studies measure and report both diastolic readings (D4 and D5) so that their interrelationship may be studied further in other populations.
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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The authors thank Sandra James and Joan Knudsen for technical assistance, and Dot Buckingham for supervising blood pressure training. Supported by US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Research Grants HL23727 and HL25523, National Research Service Award HL07036 (Dr Folsom), and Research Career Development Awards HL00287 (Dr Jacobs) and HL00329 (Dr Gillum).