BP mismatch between arms signals risk

10:12 am Health Care

Patients with hypertension who have more than 10 mmHg digit differences in blood pressure between arms appear to be at risk for cardiovascular events and premature death.

The risk of all-cause death over a follow-up of about 10 years was more than three-fold higher for patients with inter arm systolic blood pressure differences of 10 mm Hg and 15 mm Hg according to Christopher Clark, PhD, of the University of Exeter in England, and colleagues. Similar relationships were seen for cardiovascular death and combined cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events, the researchers reported online in BMJ.

The findings are consistent with a meta-analysis published by Clark’s group in January, which showed that the same interarm differences were associated with peripheral vascular disease, as well as cardiovascular and all-cause death.

Bilateral blood pressure measurements should become a routine part of cardiovascular assessment in primary care.

Authors examined data from 230 patients treated for hypertension. One in five had pre-existing ischemic heart disease or peripheral vascular disease. At baseline, 24% of the patients had an interarm difference in systolic blood pressure of 10 mm Hg or more and 9% had a difference of at least 15 mm Hg. During 9 years follow-up, 44% of the patients had a cardiovascular or cerebrovascular event, or died. [MedPage]

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