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Blood Pressure Monitoring More Accurate If Done On Both Arms

Update Date: Apr 19, 2016 05:41 AM EDT

Heart disease and hypertension are two diseases that would be hard to deal with though the immediate preventive measure to safeguard people would be through proper procedures.

At the front of it all is the blood pressure monitoring that has become a common practice each time a person seeks medical diagnostics. As far as blood pressure is concerned, it is typically recorded as two numbers and written in a ration with Systolic being the top number and Diastolic the bottom number.

The American Heart Organization follows a certain chart to properly define healthy blood pressure. Ideally the AHA calls for a Systolic reading of 120 mm Hg or less over a Diastolic reading of 80 or less to be considered normal. The numbers vary from there to categorize and define hypertension.

When one has his blood pressure taken, the readings would normally vary. There would be a lot of outside factors that could contribute to such like lack of sleep or stress.

With the readings likely to be erratic and maybe even inaccurate at times, perhaps applying this practice of using two blood pressure monitors on both arms could offer a clearer view on the actual health state of a person.

The University of Exeter Medical School analyzed over 3,000 people in Scotland where blood pressure was taken on both arms. As it turned out, a chunk of that group were identified as having a greater risk of heart disease or hypertension despite the fact they had no history of such and technically healthy.

Dr. Chris Clark, a GP and NIHR Clinical Lecturer at the university, bares that current guidelines actually call for blood pressure to be taken on both arms. Unfortunately such is not being carried out due to some reasons like lack of time or lack of awareness in clinics. With inter-arm difference, he points out that such lowers the risk of missing out on proper discovery of people who may be at risk of heart disease.

"Differences in blood pressure between arms has previously been linked with an increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease in those that already have the condition or are at very high risk. But this study found that healthy people without pre-existing heart disease may also have an increased risk," explains professor Jeremy Pearson, an Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation.

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