Doctors should take blood pressure readings in both arms of patients, experts say, after they found a difference was linked to a severe heart risk.
Those with just five points’ variation were twice as likely to have died from heart disease in the next eight years, a study revealed. Time-pressed doctors and nurses rarely check both arms, the researchers said, despite guidelines recommending it.
Previous studies have already highlighted the significance of a discrepancy in blood pressure for patients already diagnosed with heart disease. This is because it can indicate a blockage in a major artery on one side of the body.
But until now, no studies had been carried out on those yet to receive a diagnosis.
The new research, led by the University of Exeter, suggests that regularly recording blood pressure in both arms could be a cheap and simple way to raise a warning flag years before people displayed other symptoms.