A new study has revealed that the difference in blood pressure measured in the right and left arms increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
To reach this conclusion, a group of specialists analyzed 24 investigations with the participation of almost 54,000 people from different continents. In particular, they took data on blood pressure compared to the number of fatalities, cardiac arrests, and strokes over a 10-year period.
According to recommendations, the correct way to measure blood pressure is to do it in both arms and take the higher figure as a reference. However, the study authors claim that this practice is “widely ignored.”
So it was found that a person with a noticeable difference in blood pressure indicators is more likely to suffer from cardiac arrest or stroke.
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The results suggest that the difference in blood pressure between arms above five millimeters of mercury (mmHg) predicts a high degree of mortality in the event of having one of these diseases. At the same time, a difference of just 1 mmHg increases the risk of developing a heart attack or stroke by 1%.
According to the European and American National Institutes of Health, the limit of the blood pressure difference between the arms within the norm has been 15 mmHg. But based on new data, the research authors have recommended lowering this limit to 10 mmHg.
They insist on the fact that blood pressure varies in each arm has to be perceived as an “additional factor” in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. These are reference data that could help cardiologists diagnose the disease before it manifests.