A difference in blood pressure between your two arms is not a good sign. This may indicate a tightening of your arteries, and therefore an increased risk of heart attack, stroke and premature death, according to a new study.
When you measure your blood pressure on your left arm, the result is different that when you measure it on your right arm? You may be at risk for die prematurely… In any case, this is what a recent English study, conducted by researchers at the University of Exeter, reveals.
Measuring tension on both arms can “save lives”
Previous work had already shown that blood pressure readings can vary widely depending on the part of the body where the measurement is taken. Now, experts say that too big difference of values between the two arms can pose a serious risk to the patient’s heart health, and even shorten their life expectancy.
“Check one arm, then the other, with a simple tensiometer is an inexpensive test that can be performed in any healthcare facility, without the need for additional or expensive equipment, ”says Dr Chris Clark, one of the study’s authors.
“While international guidelines recommend that it be practiced systematic, this is only done once in two in consultation, at best, often because of time constraints. Our research shows that the little extra time it takes to measure both arms could ultimately save lives”.
The difference in tension between the arms must not exceed 10 mmHg
The researchers analyzed data from more than 54 000 participants to world studies, and therefore from different origins. They evaluated their blood pressure data and went through their medical records, to better understand how differences in blood pressure readings between the arms could affect their long-term health.
Current European directives indicate that a difference in 15 mmHg between the arms of the same patient can be an early warning sign of heart problems. But based on the results of the study, this threshold could be reduced to 10 mmHg. With this simple deviation, the patient is already at increased risk of heart attack, stroke and premature death.
And for good reason, significantly different readings between the two arms could be the sign of a tightening of the arteries – problem at the origin of many cardiovascular diseases.
How to reduce the risk of early death?
“We believe that a difference of 10 mmHg can now be considered as maximum deviation systolic blood pressure between the two arms, when the two measurements are carried out consecutively during a routine medical appointment ”, underlines researcher Victor Aboyans.
“This information should be incorporated into future recommendations and clinical practice for assessing cardiovascular risk. Thus, more people would be referred to treatment that could reduce their risk. heart attack, stroke and of death”.