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Clin Hypertens. 2017 Jul 18;23:15. doi: 10.1186/s40885-017-0071-3. eCollection 2017.

Effect of respiratory pattern on automated clinical blood pressure measurement: an observational study with normotensive subjects.

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Health and Wellbeing Academy, Faculty of Medical Science, Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford, UK.
Department of Computer Engineering, faculty of Engineering, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Enugu, Nigeria.
Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen, China.



It has been reported that deep breathing could reduce blood pressures (BP) in general. It is also known that BP is decreased during inhalation and increased during exhalation. Therefore, the measured BPs could be potentially different during deep breathing with different lengths of inhalation and exhalation. This study aimed to quantitatively investigate the effect of different respiratory patterns on BPs.


Forty healthy subjects (20 males and 20 females, aged from 18 to 60 years) were recruited. Systolic and diastolic BPs (SBP and DBP) were measured using a clinically validated automated BP device. There were two repeated measurement sessions for each subject. Within each session, eight BP measurements were performed, including 4 measurements during deep breathing with different respiratory patterns (Pattern 1: 4.5 s vs 4.5 s; Patter 2: 6 s vs 2 s; Pattern 3: 2 s vs 6 s; and Pattern 4: 1.5 s vs 1.5 s, respectively for the durations of inhalation and exhalation) and additional 4 measurements from 1 min after the four different respiratory patterns. At the beginning and end of the two repeated measurement sessions, there were two baseline BP measurements under resting condition.


The key experimental results showed that overall automated SBP significantly decreased by 3.7 ± 5.7 mmHg, 3.9 ± 5.2 mmHg, 1.7 ± 5.9 mmHg and 3.3 ± 5.3 mmHg during deep breathing, respectively for Patterns 1, 2, 3 and 4 (all p < 0.001 except p < 0.05 for Pattern 3). Similarly, the automated DBPs during deep breathing in pattern 1, 2 and 4 decreased by 3.7 ± 5.0 mmHg, 3.7 ± 4.9 mmHg and 4.6 ± 3.9 mmHg respectively (all p < 0.001, except in Pattern 3 with a decrease of 1.0 ± 4.3 mmHg, p = 0.14). Correspondingly, after deep breathing, automated BPs recovered back to normal with no significant difference in comparison with baseline BP (all p > 0.05, except for SBP in Pattern 4).


In summary, this study has quantitatively demonstrated that the measured automated BPs decreased by different amounts with all the four deep breathing patterns, which recovered back quickly after these single short-term interventions, providing evidence of short-term BP decrease with deep breathing and that BP measurements should be performed under normal breathing condition.


Blood pressure; Breathing pattern; Diastolic; Exhalation; Fast-deep breathing; Inhalation; Respiratory pattern; Slow-deep breathing; Systolic

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