Blood Pressure Differential Signals Cardiovascular Risk
Among people who with high blood pressure, double-digit differences between arm measurements may increase the risk of cardiovascular events of premature death.
Previously, researchers from the University of Exeter (United Kingdom) revealed that blood pressure differences between the left and right arm associate with peripheral vascular disease. In follow-up work, Christopher E Clark and colleagues examined data from 230 patients treated for hypertension at a rural general practice in Devon, England, who were followed for a median of 9.8 years. Interarm systolic blood pressure differences of 10 to 15 mm Hg were associated with roughly three- to four-fold greater risks of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events, cardiovascular mortality, all-cause mortality, and the combination of events and mortality. Submitting that: "Differences in systolic blood pressure between arms can predict an increased risk of cardiovascular events and all cause mortality over 10 years in people with hypertension,” the study authors urge that: "This difference could be a valuable indicator of increased cardiovascular risk.”
Christopher E Clark, Rod S Taylor, Angela C Shore, John L Campbell. “The difference in blood pressure readings between arms and survival: primary care cohort study.” BMJ, 20 March 2012.