Have you ever taken your blood pressure in both arms and compared the results? Try it some time, and you may discover the results are different. If this is the case, what does it mean?
Read on to learn more about why you may get different blood pressure readings in each arm and what that may mean for your health.
While a minor difference of fewer than
According to one
Other possible reasons you may have different blood pressure readings in each arm include:
Hypertension is a primary cause of different blood pressure readings in each arm. A 2020 study showed that up to
Monitoring blood pressure with hypertension is important to prevent extreme highs and make sure treatment is working.
Chronic kidney disease
Common causes of this include high blood pressure and diabetes. Managing high blood pressure can slow the progression of kidney damage, so it’s important to get accurate blood pressure readings.
Some individuals with diabetes have
Peripheral vascular disease
Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) is a circulation disorder. In PVD, the blood vessels leading to and from organs like the heart and brain may become narrow or even become blocked, decreasing blood flow. Blood vessels may also spasm, leading to intermittent narrowing. Individuals with PVD can have
PVD causes pain and fatigue, particularly with exercise. This can also cause high blood pressure. High blood pressure can also cause PVD, so monitoring blood pressure and getting accurate readings is important.
Obesity (also called adiposity) has been
There are many advantages to taking blood pressure in both arms. In fact, taking the blood pressure of both arms is recommended by the
Measuring both arms can help clinicians better determine risk for conditions and hypertension-related organ damage, and give them a better overall picture of health.
Blood pressure can be different in each arm, and a small variation is normal. When the readings are more than 10 points different, there may be an underlying concern or a greater risk of disease.
Taking blood pressure in both arms, especially for people with certain conditions, can be helpful to monitor treatment effectiveness, assess the risk of disease, and get a better clinical picture of overall health.
If you have concerns about your health and blood pressure-related conditions, talk with your doctor about taking blood pressure readings in both arms as part of your regular care.