Take Blood Pressure in Both Arms, Study Says

By ANAHAD O'CONNOR, The New York Times

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, published in The Lancet, 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.”

 

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