Several indices of diastolic blood pressure (DBP), based on three DBP readings at a single examination were assessed to determine which was best for predicting blood pressure status over the next 8 years. Measures of both level and variability were evaluated, singly and in combination. The results show that two or three DBP readings at one sitting permit a more accurate classification of future blood pressure status than a single reading. The mean of three readings was the best measure for classifying individuals as hypertensive, borderline or normotensive. When used with the mean of three readings, variability of DBP at one examination did not consistently yield further information concerning risk of future hypertension.
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