It’s been known for a while that high blood pressure is best detected by taking readings from both arms, but a recent study has provided evidence to suggest it may also help to diagnose hypertension and cardiovascular disease.
The study showed that when diagnosing hypertension, using blood pressure measurements from both arms resulted in more accurate diagnoses than relying on information from a single arm. If you’re concerned about high blood pressure, make sure you talk to your doctor about getting measured in both arms. Doing so could help ensure an accurate diagnosis and the best possible treatment plan.
The study was led by the University of Exeter and included information from
53,172 participants in 23 studies worldwide. The study’s main purpose was to examine the implications of choosing higher or lower arm pressure.
Researchers found that using the higher arm blood pressure reading reclassified 12 percent of people with hypertension who would have otherwise fallen below the threshold for diagnosis if the lower reading arm had been used.
Christopher Clark, from the University of Exeter, said, “High blood pressure is a global issue, and poor management can be fatal. This study shows that failure to measure both arms and use the higher reading arm will not only result in underdiagnosis and undertreatment of high blood pressure but also under-estimation of cardiovascular risks for millions of people worldwide.”
It is impossible to know which arm is the best for blood pressure measurement since some people have a higher reading in their left arm than in the right. This study helps to show the importance of checking both arms to help better detect hypertension and cardiovascular disease.
International guidelines advise clinics to measure blood pressure in both arms; however, the practice is not widely used. Researchers hope this study will help get the word out that both arms should be checked when measuring blood pressure.
Maintaining Healthy Blood Pressure
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