Get Your Blood Pressure Taken in BOTH Arms-Could Save Your Life

Patients commonly get their blood pressure taken in only one arm. However, there has been a finding that there is may be a disparity between your right and left arm. People whose systolic blood pressure — the upper number in their reading — is different in their left and right arms may be suffering from a vascular disease that could increase their risk of death.
The arteries under the collarbone supply blood to the arms, legs and brain. Blockage can lead to stroke and other problems. That’s why the blood pressure should be taken in both arms should be routine.
The arteries that run under the collarbone can get blocked, especially in smokers and diabetics. If one artery is more blocked than the other, then there is a difference in blood pressure in the arms.
Doctors should, for adults — especially adult smokers and diabetics — check the blood pressure in both arms. If there is a difference it should be looked into further.
A report in the prestigious British Medical Journal, Lancet, found that a difference of 15 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or more between readings was linked with an increased risk of narrowing or hardening of the arteries supplying the lower limbs, called peripheral vascular disease.
The difference in blood pressure was also associated with a 70 percent increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and a 60 percent increased risk of death from any cause.
Finding peripheral vascular disease early and treating it by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol as well as giving up smoking can help reduce the risk of death.
Bottom Line: Next time you visit your doctor and have your blood pressure taken, request that the doctor or nurse measure your blood pressure in BOTH arms. It could save your life.

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