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Measuring BP in both arms 'should be routine'

Health professionals should routinely measure a patient's blood pressure in both arms in order to detect underlying health issues.

A study, published in The Lancet, showed differences in blood pressure between your right and left arm could indicate an increased risk of heart and circulatory disease.

Researchers found that a difference in systolic blood pressure of 10mmHG between arms could mean a patient has a “high risk” of asymptomatic peripheral vascular disease (PVD).

A difference of 15mmHG may indicate a 70% increased risk of cardiovascular mortality.

“Theoretically, measuring blood pressure on both arms to assess vascular disease risk is a quick and simple task,” said Natasha Stewart, a Senior Cardiac Nurse at the British Heart Foundation.

“But it's too early to say whether this idea could become part of standard healthcare practice and so we need more research to confirm the findings.

“It's very important that other risk factors, apart from high blood pressure, are taken into account to establish whether doctors need to take a closer look at someone's heart disease risk.”

The authors of the study said the findings should prompt health professionals to ensure the practice of measuring a patient's blood pressure in both arms becomes “routine practice”.


Question: Do you think measuring blood pressure in blood arms should become routine?