Two-arm blood pressure check indicator for risk from heart disease or death

A systematic review and meta-analysis carried out by researchers at the University of Exeter Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry (PCMD) has found that differences in systolic blood pressure between arms could be a useful indicator of the likelihood of vascular risk and death.

The findings add support to the calls for both-arm blood pressure checks to be performed as standard.

The review is published in The online today and the study is supported by the Royal College of General Practitioners, the South West GP Trust and the National Institute for Health Research Peninsula Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care.

The study reviewed 28 papers covering difference in systolic blood pressure between arms. It found significant evidence to suggest that a difference of 15mm Hg or more was associated with increased risk of: peripheral vascular disease (the narrowing and hardening of the arteries that to the legs and feet); pre-existing cerebrovascular disease (affecting the blood supply to the brain and often associated with cognitive issues such as ); and mortality, both as a result of and generally.

The risk of was also increased at a difference of 10mm Hg or more.

The findings further support the need for both-arm blood pressure checks to be the norm – not least because most cases are 'clinically silent' and such checks would better identify those at risk.

Dr. Christopher Clark, Clinical Academic Fellow at PCMD and a GP in Witheridge, Devon, led the study. He said: "We set out to investigate whether there was an association between differences in systolic between arms and vascular disease and mortality. Our findings indicate a strong association, and that differences of 10mm Hg or 15mm Hg or more might help to identify patients who are at risk and who need further vascular assessment. More research is required in order to transfer our findings to clinical practice, but in the meanwhile we will be flagging the results of our review to the UK Vascular Check programme."

More information: Paper online: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(11)61710-8/abstract

Provided by The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry

4.6 /5 (7 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Real-time volume imaging of hearts

14 minutes ago

A new ultrasound system from Siemens enables doctors to carry out heart examinations through the esophagus for the first time. The system supplies 3D images of the heart as well as additional real-time information ...

Post-PCI bleeding rates vary widely across hospitals

18 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Patient case-mix and procedural factors may contribute to wide variation in the hospital rates of bleeding after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), according to research published online ...

Most seniors eligible for statin Rx under new guidelines

Nov 25, 2014

(HealthDay)—Most older Americans qualify for treatment with statins under new guidelines for the treatment of blood cholesterol released late last year by the American College of Cardiology and the American ...

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

gwrede
not rated yet Jan 29, 2012
This should be declared the news item of the year, not only of the week! And it should be broadcast to the entire health care profession immediately.

In my lifetime, there have been few medical discoveries that can be applied with less unit cost and more value for the patient.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.