Differences in blood pressure between your arms may be sign of heart trouble, study says
Healthcare providers have been advised to consider taking blood pressure of patients, in both arms more seriously.
The reason is that while extant international guidelines currently recommend that practice, it is “widely ignored.”
Research shows that doctors and nurses are taking the blood pressure on both arms only around half of the time at best, usually due to time constraints.
However researchers say that the little extra time it takes to measure both arms could ultimately save lives, according to a report in the CNN.
They also say that anyone with concerns about their blood pressure should monitor it at home and keep a journal of the readings.
Meanwhile findings are that top blood pressure reading between the two arms could be a warning sign of a future heart attack or stroke, according to a study published in the journal Hypertension.
Blood pressure is measured in units of millimeters of mercury (abbreviated as mmHg), which consists of two numbers.
One is the upper or systolic reading that represents the maximum amount of pressure in your arteries, and the other is lower or diastolic reading that shows the pressure in your arteries when your heart muscle is at rest between beats.
The new study found that for each degree of difference between the two arms over 10 millimeters of mercury, the risk of having new angina (chest pain), a heart attack or a stroke increased by 1% over the next decade.
The study results indicate that differences above 5 millimeters of mercury between two arms “predict all-cause mortality, cardio- vascular mortality and cardiovascular events.”