Why Blood Pressure Should be Checked in Both Arms

A large difference between the blood pressure readings of the two arms should never be ignored. An abnormal difference between the readings can be a sign of any underlying heart ailment. According to various studies, high blood pressure differences in the both arms can cause a heart attack.

Why Blood Pressure Should be Checked in Both Arms

Generally, we only take the blood pressure reading from one arm only, but the correct method to identify any hidden health concern. When Blood Pressure (BP) is checked from both arms, we can find minor changes which are not of any health concern. However if the difference is more than 20 mmHg for the top reading (systolic pressure) or more than 10 mmHg for the bottom number (diastolic pressure), then it might be a sign of a serious health issues like narrowing of the artery.

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According to the editorial column published in Online in the Lancet, a BP difference of 10-15 points in both arms can boost the chances of having a heart attack/stroke or even death from cardiovascular diseases.

High Blood pressure and heart attack
Blood pressure is the force with which the blood flowing in the arteries pushes against its wall. Blood pressure is measured using Sphygmomanometer.
There is a difference of few points between the blood pressure readings of both arms. It is quite normal. But a very high blood pressure difference is a thing to worry! It can cause heart problems and heart attack. High blood pressure is the main problem for heart risks like attack and strokes, but it can also damage various other organs of the body like kidneys and eyes and can also cause dementia. Several problems related to heart can flourish with a continuous high Blood Pressure, including:

1. The risks of peripheral vascular diseases (due to reduced blood flow to the legs and feet) increases two and a half times
2. The risk of cerebrovascular diseases increases by 60%
3. The risk of death due to heart and circulation problems increases by 70% and from any other conditions increases by 60%

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Symptoms of high blood pressure:
Hypertension or high blood pressure is one of the most dreaded conditions because it lays the platform for many other dangerous diseases like heart attack and other heart-related problems. However, the most dangerous thing to worry is that blood pressure is a silent condition and the person might even not know that he has High blood pressure.

Following symptoms might help you to identify whether you have high blood pressure or not:
• Severe headache
• Vision problems/ blurred vision
• Blood in urine
• Chest pain
• Nose bleeds
• Breathing difficulties, etc.

You should visit your general physician if you find any of the symptoms as mentioned above and get yourself checked.

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Few tips to keep the blood pressure under check and avoid heart problems:
1. Avoid caffeine intake:
Those people who want to keep their high blood pressure in control can avoid caffeine and alcohol as they are known to elevate BP. By avoiding these things, one can avoid heart problems.

2. Stop smoking:
Tobacco smoke is not only bad for lungs, but it is also known to cause clogged arteries and is hence considered bad for the heart. As soon as you spot symptoms of blood pressure, reduce your intake of nicotine in any way.

3. Exercise and be active:
Physical activity and exercise are often related to heart conditions and heart health. You can do less harsh exercises like a walk for 30 minutes every day to keep the chronic heart conditions at bay.

4. Maintain a healthy weight:
If you are carrying extra weight around your waist, then it could be a ringing sign for the people who fear high blood pressure symptoms.Their fears could turn into reality if they do not take fast actions to improve the weight problems.

5. Relieve your stress:
Often stress can lead to depression and tension, finally leading to high blood pressure or hypertension. You should utilize stress busters like exercise, meditation and leisure activities to relieve stress and help you heart remain healthy and active in return.

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It is hence, very important that you should take the blood pressure reading of both arms to get an insight into the overall health of the body. Various researches have shown that blood pressure should be measured in both arms because any huge difference in the blood pressure can cause serious heart complications like a heart attack.

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