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Take Blood Pressure in Both Arms, Study Says

Discussion in 'General Practitioner' started by Egyptian Doctor, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. Egyptian Doctor

    Egyptian Doctor Moderator Verified Doctor

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    Doctors who make a habit of measuring blood pressure in only one arm may be doing their patients a disservice.

    A new study shows that differences in blood pressure readings between a patient’s right and left arm could be a sign of vascular disease and a greater risk of dying from heart disease. The study, suggests doctors should always take blood pressure readings on both arms — an existing guideline that is widely ignored.

    “Recommendations to measure both arms exist in both British and American blood pressure management guidelines,” said Dr. Christopher Clark, the lead author of the study and a clinical academic fellow at the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry in England. “This is out there as guidance, but it’s guidance that isn’t regularly followed.”

    In Britain, fewer than half of all doctors say they make a habit of measuring blood pressure in both arms, Dr. Clark said, a statistic that is likely to be similar in the United States.

    The consequences could be significant. In their study, Dr. Clark and his colleagues pooled data from their own research and from about two dozen other studies looking at differences in systolic blood pressure readings between the two arms in patients. Systolic pressure, the top number in a reading, reflects the amount of pressure that blood exerts on vessels while the heart is contracting.

    Although seemingly minor, a difference of 15 millimeters of mercury or more between systolic readings in the two arms meant the risk of peripheral vascular disease was two and a half times greater and the risk of cerebrovascular disease was 1.6 times higher. It was also associated with a 70 percent greater risk of dying from heart disease. The precise number of the higher or lower systolic reading was less important than the extent of the difference between them. A difference of even 10 millimeters was enough to raise the risk of peripheral vascular disease.

    The authors hypothesized that different blood pressure readings in the two arms were a sign of the narrowing or hardening of a person’s arteries, particularly on one side of the body.

    Dr. Clark said the need for measuring blood pressure in both arms was clear.
    “If we don’t know to measure both arms, we’re not going to make the right diagnosis and the right treatment choices for our patients,” he said. “If you measure an arm where the blood pressure is lower than the other arm, you may be falsely reassured that the blood pressure is normal or is being adequately treated, when in fact the blood pressure is still high.”

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  2. waleed

    waleed Moderator

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    Thankss doc . :)
     


  3. Neelesh A Dharmadhikari

    Neelesh A Dharmadhikari Famous Member

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  4. rabab froja

    rabab froja Famous Member

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    its a very logic and smart step when giving a dx :)
     


  5. asili mazen

    asili mazen Famous Member

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    شكرا THANK YOU
     

    Egyptian Doctor likes this.

  6. DrAnis

    DrAnis Bronze Member

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    Already practicing this.
     


  7. Dr-Harikesh Singh

    Dr-Harikesh Singh Young Member

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  8. abumuhammed62

    abumuhammed62 Young Member

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  9. Amm chaudhri

    Amm chaudhri Active member

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    good info
     


  10. mohammad sabbir hossen

    mohammad sabbir hossen Well-Known Member

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  11. saeed baftaim

    saeed baftaim Active member

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  12. santoshbhanuse

    santoshbhanuse Well-Known Member

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    thanks.....
     


  13. المبدعة اكس تو

    المبدعة اكس تو Active member

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  14. anacantero

    anacantero Active member

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    thanks. but...if preasure is different in which arm...what is real pressure?the media?
     


  15. Abdul Wakil

    Abdul Wakil Young Member

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    I'm doing this only for the patients whom blood pressures are higher than normal
     


  16. chelly hazem

    chelly hazem Active member

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    bonne info,
     


  17. Dr.Monzur Morshed

    Dr.Monzur Morshed Young Member

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  18. Dr.Monzur Morshed

    Dr.Monzur Morshed Young Member

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  19. novath ngowi

    novath ngowi Active member

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  20. Fayaz sofi

    Fayaz sofi Well-Known Member

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    The post is an excellent piece of awareness for the medicos and also for those of us who knowingly avoid checking the bp in both arms.Thank you for the post.
     


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