Why it is important to measure blood pressure in both arms

Why it is important to measure blood pressure in both arms

A recent study from the University of Exeter has shown that people with different blood pressure readings on two arms have higher risks of heart disease.

Therefore, measuring blood pressure in both arms is important for people’s health.

Previously, scientists have shown that high blood pressure is a big risk factor of heart disease.

In the present study, the researchers examined more than 3,000 people in Scotland.

These people had a higher risk of heart disease or high blood pressure, but they had not yet had an episode of either condition.

Each participant had blood pressure measurements taken from both arms.

The team found a difference in systolic blood pressure readings between the two arms was linked to almost double the risk of heart disease over a period of eight years.

The results suggest that finding shows the importance of routinely measuring blood pressure in both arms.

According to the researchers, current guidelines state that blood pressure should be measured in both arms when assessing patients for hypertension.

However, this advice often is not followed because of time constraints or lack of awareness amongst clinicians.

Measuring blood pressure on both arms could help overcome natural blood pressure fluctuations and improve accuracy.

Doctors should do repeated assessments to confirm the inter-arm difference in blood pressure readings, and they should give patients suitable lifestyle advice.

In the future, the team plans to find the extra risk that an inter-arm difference indicates and to discover the extent to which this can be prevented.

The research is published in the British Journal of General Practice.

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