Previous research has already shown that a significant difference between the upper (systolic) blood pressure measurements in the two arms is a sign of a narrowing, or a stiffening of the arteries, which can affect blood flow. These changes form a risk of heart attack, stroke or early death. A recent international study found out what difference in blood pressure is critical for the heart health.
The study conducted a meta-analysis of 24 global available studies to create a database of nearly 53.827 adults from Europe, the US, Africa and Asia for whom blood pressure measurements of both arms were available.
This study found out that a difference of more than 10 mmHg is a signal to check the heart health. Therefore, the researchers proposed to establish an upper difference of 10 mmHg as the upper limit of normal. To compare, the current UK and European guidelines recognize an upper difference of more than 15 units (mmHg) between the two arms as an indication of heart problems.
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