Measuring BP in both arms may boost vascular diagnosis

The meta-analysis funded by the UK Royal College of General Practitioners took in 20 studies that included data on systolic blood pressure in both arms.

Patients with a difference of 15mmHg or more were found to have a 2.5 times increased risk of peripheral vascular disease.

They also had an increased risk of pre-existing cerebrovascular disease (1.6 times the risk), and of both cardiovascular mortality and all-cause mortality, the researchers said.

Increased risk of peripheral vascular disease was also evident in those patients with a variance of 10mmHg.

The difference in blood pressure was the flag, not which arm had a higher measurement, the UK-based authors said, noting the arm with elevated pressure varied from patient to patient.

Variance between arms of more than 10mmHg did not appear as “rare” as guidelines may suggest, they also said.

“Our own studies have suggested that