Blood pressure is the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your blood vessels. This can be measured in your arm. Does it matter if your blood pressure is higher or lower in one arm compared to the other arm? Many researchers think that a difference in blood pressure between arms may be an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease, including heart disease. Researchers are now looking at the evidence from almost 60,000 volunteers from around the world. They found that there can be up to a 10 mmHg difference between arm measurements in the systolic blood pressure; this is still considered normal as long as the measurements are not above 130 mmHg. However, if one arm has a reading that is more than 10 mmHg different from the other arm, then this is a risk factor for serious cardiovascular disease. At your doctor’s office, blood pressure should be measured in both arms. Remember that anything more than a systolic difference of 10 mm Hg between arms is not normal. Like many healthcare facilities, we check blood pressure in both arms regularly here at Sansum Diabetes Research Institute.


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