BP+ and Mount Everest Hypertension Study

New hypertension study demonstrates BP+ measures more sensitive than conventional arm BP measures

Uscom announced the publication of a study of 90 British servicemen and women and the effects on their central blood pressure (cBP) using the Uscom BP+ as they ascended from near sea level to a maximum of 5,360m over a period of 14 days in the Dhaulagiri region in the Himalayas at the base of Mount Everest. The study, published in the Journal of Human Hypertension and authored by experts from seven UK centres, found that systolic cBP measured by the Uscom BP+ was more sensitive than conventional systolic brachial (arm) BP for detecting the progressive BP changes of high altitude.

This study demonstrated that cBP was significantly different than brachial (arm) BP, and that BP+ determined systolic cBP increased proportionately more and changed earlier with the staged increase of cardiovascular work at incrementally increasing altitudes up to 5,360m. The pulse pressure wave parameter of augmentation index (AI) was not found to be independently associated with increasing altitude.

The researchers reported that “the accurate noninvasive assessment of cBP and large artery stiffness has been traditionally very difficult. It had required the need for either arterial catheterisation or less portable and expensive noninvasive equipment limiting its research utility at high altitude.” They also reported “(the Uscom BP+) has the advantage over several competing devices. It is highly portable and only requires the use of an upper arm cuff, and therefore avoiding the need to assess either the radial or digital pulse where the signal-to-noise ratio may be less favourable.”

Executive Chairman of Uscom, Associate Professor Rob Phillips said, “This study demonstrates that Uscom BP+ measures more sensitively detect changes in BP than simple cuff BP measures. The study further establishes BP+ as the tool of choice for researchers and pharma as they evaluate new hypertension medications. It is also further proof of the applicability of the device in clinics and home care where the highest sensitivity of BP measurements are essential for appropriate management of hypertension. At Uscom we specialise in the development, manufacture and marketing of global practice leading technologies and believe that high accuracy measurements leads to improved clinical care. For Uscom this study comes as we prepare the new Uscom BP+ device for market release.”

Significance: Increased cardiac work is a feature of hypertension and a predictor of cardiac morbidity, mortality, and healthcare cost, and cBP is the new standard for measurement of BP and hypertension. At increasing altitude the air oxygen content is reduced and the heart has to work harder to deliver adequate oxygen to the cells. This study of the normal circulation as it incrementally adapts to increasing altitude, and increasing work, is a model that improves our understanding of the evolution of hypertension and the adaptation of the heart to the controlled incremental increase in work. For Uscom this is important research using the new BP+ device as the standard of BP measurement as it is finalised for release to market.

  • Nearly 40% of all adults over the age of 25 years have diagnosed hypertension
  • Hypertension is a factor in approximately 50% of all cardiac deaths and strokes
  • Hypertension costs approximately $45B USD pa in the USA alone 
  • Improved measurement of BP may lead to improved therapy and reduced cost of hypertension management



  • Boos CJ, Vincent E, Mellor A, Woods DR, New C, Cruttenden R, Barlow M, Cooke M, Deighton K, Scott P, Clarke S, O’Hara J. The effect of high altitude on central blood pressure and arterial stiffness. Journal of Human Hypertension 2017;31:715 – 719.
  • McEniery CM, Cockcroft JR, Roman MJ, Franklin SS, Wilkinson AB. Central blood pressure: current evidence and clinical importance. Euro Heart J 2014;doi10.1093/eurojeartj/eht565.
  • Roman M, Devereaux RB, Kizer JR, Lee ET, Galloway JM, Ali T, Umans JG, Howard BV. Central Pressure More Strongly Relates to Vascular Disease and Outcomes Than Does Brachial Pressure. The Strong Heart Study. Hypertension 2007;50:197-203.
  • High Blood Pressure Facts