Reproducibility of resting blood pressure and heart rate measurements: The HERITAGE Family Study

Philip R. Stanforth, Jacques Gagnon, Treva Rice, Claude Bouchard, Arthur S. Leon, D. C. Rao, James S. Skinner, Jack H. Wilmore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: This study determined the reproducibility of resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure, mean arterial pressure, and heart rate (the average of three measures/day). METHODS: The data were obtained on two separate days prior to an exercise training intervention in a sample of 822 subjects participating in the HERITAGE Family Study. The same protocol was conducted across three days in an intracenter quality control substudy, which included an additional 60 subjects. RESULTS: Reproducibility estimates included technical error, coefficient of variation within subjects, and intraclass correlation with results expressed by sex, race, age, cuff size, BMI, and %fat. Since the data were collected across four Clinical Centers, the reproducibility estimates were also computed separately for each Center. The systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial blood pressures were highly reproducible with technical errors less than 5.1 mmHg, coefficients of variation of less than 7.0% and intraclass correlations > 0.75. The heart rates were slightly less reproducible. These results were fairly consistent across subject populations and across all four Clinical Centers. CONCLUSION: It is concluded that within subject day-to-day variations are small compared to between subject variance for resting systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial blood pressure and heart rate at each of the Clinical Centers for all of the HERITAGE Family Study data. This makes it appropriate to pool the data and analyze it for changes subsequent to endurance exercise training and to determine the possible genetic basis for these changes. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-277
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of epidemiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2000

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The HERITAGE Family Study is supported by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute through the following grants: HL45670 (C. Bouchard, PI); HL47323 (A.S. Leon, PI); HL47317 (D.C. Rao, PI); HL47327 (J.S. Skinner, PI); and HL47321 (J.H. Wilmore, PI). Credit is also given to the University of Minnesota Clinical Research Center, NIH Grant MO1-RR000400. Claude Bouchard is supported in part by the Donald B. Brown Research Chair on Obesity funded by MRC and Roche Canada. Art Leon is partially supported by the Henry L. Taylor Professorship in Exercise Science and Health Enhancement. Thanks are expressed to all of the co-principal investigators, investigators, co-investigators, local project coordinators, research assistants, laboratory technicians, and secretaries who have contributed to this study. Finally, the HERITAGE consortium is very thankful to those hard-working families whose participation made these data possible.


  • Blood pressure determination
  • Blood pressure variability
  • Quality control
  • Reproducibility of results


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