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Importance of Measuring Blood Pressure on Both Arms

By ChemistsWorld On 23 Aug 2021

Blood pressure irregularity has been noted as one of the major causes of disability and death worldwide. High blood pressure can increase the risk of heart diseases. On the other hand, low blood pressure also indicates a few complicated physical conditions. For avoiding such complications, you need to measure blood pressure frequently. Frequent blood pressure measurement also helps in diagnosing acute diseases at the early stages. Detection at the early stages minimizes risks and enhances the chance of a faster recovery.

The Correct Process to Measure Blood Pressure

According to various medical studies, people measure blood pressure on one hand only. Most people prefer measuring blood pressure on the left arm. How many of you measure blood pressure on the right hand after measuring it on the left hand? In 99% of cases, people do not measure blood pressure in both hands.

Now, you must be thinking about the necessity of blood pressure measurement on both arms. Will there be any differences in the measurements? The answer is yes. There could be a difference in blood pressure when measured in both arms. In normal cases, the difference is minimal. When there is a sharp contrast in the differences between the two arms, it indicates some concerning physical complications.

Blood Pressure Check in Hospitals and Clinics

During routine health checkups in hospitals and clinics, blood pressure is checked only on one arm in most cases. There are some exceptions too. If the patient has been diagnosed with poor heart conditions, blood pressure is measured on both arms. Differences in the blood pressure readings on two arms will help the doctors and healthcare professionals to assess a person’s heart condition.

During your routine health checkup, you must ask the health professionals or nurses to take blood pressure readings on both arms. If you measure blood pressure at home, you should check the pressure levels on both arms. If there is a significant gap between the two readings, you should consult a doctor to eliminate possible health risks.

What Does the Difference in Blood Pressure on Two Arms Suggest?

The difference in blood pressure on two arms may suggest different kinds of physical conditions. The assessment has to be performed by a professional physician. In the following section, you can get an overview of this matter.

  • A Minor Difference: If the blood pressure difference between two arms is minor or negligible, one should not be concerned. A difference of 10 MM of mercury is acceptable.
  • Major Difference: When the difference is more than 10 MM of mercury, you may risk cardiovascular disease. Such patients need to stay under strict observation, as the patients can encounter strokes, heart attacks, etc.

Peripheral vascular disease is a common blood circulatory disorder that makes blood vessels narrow. As a result, blood flow through such vessels gets reduced. It happens due to the fat deposits inside the blood vessels. People with diabetic conditions are a major health risk due to peripheral vascular disease. Smoking and aging are also crucial factors. If you are a smoker, the risk of cardiac attacks increases due to peripheral vascular disease. With aging, a person may commonly develop such a disorder. Growing age makes the heart weaker, and thus the chance of cardiac arrest increases.

Today, cerebrovascular disease is common among many people. Blood pressure irregularity is the most prominent reason behind this disorder. For avoiding the risk of the disease, one needs to measure blood pressure frequently on both hands; if there is a significant difference between the pressure levels on the two arms, the risk of cerebral attacks or brain stroke increases.

The difference between blood pressure measurements on the two arms also indicates many other physical complications. In the following section, some possible health risks are listed.

  • Blocked arteries can lead to a difference in blood pressure measurements on the two arms.
  • Cognitive decline can also be a possibility. Such people lose natural reflexes quickly.
  • Kidney and heart diseases can be diagnosed through the difference in blood pressure on two arms of a person.

What Is the Solution?

No medicine or drug can resolve the problem. A few fitness measures and lifestyle changes can help you. Find some of the tips below.

  • Incorporate physical exercises into your daily routine. If not exercises, you can go for morning or evening walks. Cycling and swimming are also good cardio exercises.
  • A healthy diet is essential. You should omit junk foods from your list of foods. Bring different vegetables to the table to avoid health risks.
  • Hypertension can enhance the risk of cardiovascular disease. You should learn to stay stress-free as much as possible.
  • Quitting smoking and drinking alcohol will help you to maintain a healthy state of the body. Quitting these things will reduce health hazards.

When you notice a wide gap between the blood pressure levels on the two arms, you should consult a doctor immediately.