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    Blood Pressure difference right to left arm.
    An_193092 posted:
    I am 76 year old male with a spread of 50-60 mm between left and right arms, i have no weakness between eighter arm, my doctor has me on medication for blood pressure, I use the left arm as indicator of body pressure, my right arm always reads high. todays reading 110/68/56 left, 180/102/56 question is what is the true pressure to the organs of my body?, is there reason to be concerned, and I need to see a heart doctor to treat this condition.
    cardiostarusa1 responded:

    "What is the true pressure to the organs of my body?"

    It is reported that if the technique for taking the blood pressure (BP) readings is good (accurate as possible), it's likely that the respective readings accurately reflect the pressure in each arm, BUT the higher reading reflects the "true" BP.

    "Is there reason to be concerned"

    Yes, of course.

    If/when there is a clinically significant/substantial difference in BP between one arm and the other (such as hypertension in one arm), this may/can be due to factors and conditions, such as coarctation (narrowing, congenital) of the aorta, aortic dissection (tear in the wall of the aorta), atherosclerosis (plaque buildup), and thrombosis/embolism (blood clot) in an artery in the arm.

    Also, the right and left subclavian artery supplies oxygenated blood to the arms, and in a condition known as subclavian artery stenosis (SAS, most often acquired in life), BP will be lower in the arm with the narrowed subclavian (typically one artery is affected) artery, thus accordingly causing reduced blood flow through it.

    BP begins to rise as one awakens, peaks in the late afternoon or evening, and then drops off gradually, becoming the lowest when sleeping.

    Normal resting blood BP in adults is under 120/80 with 115/75 or 110/70 considered as being optimal/ideal. Normal resting pulse pressure (the difference between systolic and diastolic) is 40 (can give or take a little).

    Most important, communicate/interact well with your doctor(s). Best of luck down the road of life.

    Take care,


    WebMD member (since 8/99)



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    James Beckerman, MD, FACC responded:
    Asymmetric blood pressures in the arms are often caused by reduced blood flow to one arm (thereby making the pressure appear lower). A blockage in the subclavian artery (called subclavian stenosis) is one thing to rule out. Your "real" pressure so to speak is likely the higher one - and systolics of 180 are very high and deserve medical attention.
    An_244977 responded:
    We do bp's at our church monthly. There is a protocol established for bp parameters that we fallow, i.e. 200/100 would require immediate assessment by physician or emergency department. We don't have a protocol for taking bp's in both arms and what differences would require immediate care. We of course do not diagnose and wonder how to present our concern to our congregation.Can you supply us with information as to the cause and , as I have also read that this can be a predictor of stroke. We have thus far sent several people to the emergency department of our hospital for very high bp's some were admitted while others received med changes. We also have picked up pre and hypertensive patients and got them into treatment. Diet and nutrition and life style changes are discussed. We take our responsibilities very serious. If there is more information we can give and possibly avoid a stroke we would like your opinion.SJABetty

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