A ten-year study by HealthPartners concludes that blood pressure measurements taken by the traditional method using a stethoscope are more than four percentage points lower than measurements with modern automated equipment.  Lead author on the study, Doctor Thomas Kottke (KOT-key), says a reading four points lower than actual blood pressure is a problem:

“It’s important….  Can mean the difference between having a stroke and not having a stroke, or having a heart attack (versus) not having a heart attack.”

Kottke recommends all doctor’s offices and clinics switch to automated blood pressure equipment, which he says gives more reliable readings.