In blood pressure measurement, both arms count

27 February 2014        

Blood pressure equipment

Blood pressure should be measured in both arms, as differences in readings may predict future heart risk, research has found.

In a study of over 3,000 people in the US, those with higher differences between systolic blood pressure measurements were at much higher cardiovascular risk than those with slight differences in readings.

Thembi Nkala, Senior Cardiac Nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: “This study adds to evidence that, when it comes to blood pressure readings, a big difference between arms should not be ignored.

“Even if someone has no other cardiovascular risk factors, uneven high blood pressure could be a sign of an increased future risk of cardiovascular problems.

“UK guidelines already call for blood pressure to be measured in both arms when diagnosing high blood pressure. If you’re worried about your blood pressure or cardiovascular risk, speak to your GP or Practice Nurse.”