Left, right arm differences in BP lowers survival chances

Patients of hypertension who have different blood pressure (BP) readings from each arm have reduced chances of survival over 10 years, says a new study.

National guidelines to measure BP in both arms are being ignored due to time pressures and lack of evidence. Researchers from Brittain’s Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry looked at 230 BP patients between 1999 and 2002.

BP is often measured in both arms in healthy antenatal women and patients who are at a higher than normal cardiovascular risk due to diabetes, chronic renal disease or peripheral vascular disease, the journal bmj.com reported.

Studies show that the presence of an inter-arm difference has been a contributory factor for a delay in the diagnosis and poor control of high BP, according to a university statement.

Adjusting for age and gender, results show a nine percent hike in risk of death for every one millimetre Hg (mercury) inter-arm differences, prompting the authors to suggest that BP should be routinely measured in all patients undergoing treatment for hypertension.

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