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R arm vs L re blood pressure Login/Join 
Too soon old,
Too late smart
posted
Probably because I've always used my left arm to check my BP. It is always within normal range.For whatever reason the other day I checked the right arm. Systolic pressure was about 40 pts higher. I checked again over several days and R was still 30 to 40 pts higher.

Lately I've been wearing a compression stocking on right leg as a result of a doppler reading. Had it properly sized before buying. I should have asked whether this could be cause.

I mentioned the variance to my cardiologist who asked that I monitor it for couple weeks and let him know results. My internist basically brushed it off, saying it's a "physiological phenomenon."

Anyone experience this? Other possible causes?


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Posts: 1489 | Location: NoVa | Registered: March 14, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That doesn't sound right. When I go to the doctors and have been admitted to hospitals, it's been generally agnostic which side pulse/BP/O2/IV is placed and monitored.

If there is a common phys phenom for which there is broad awareness, one would think the above would be more selective.

If the med community is generally agnostic re: which side to monitor / measure, then differences between R and L would seem to be considered atypical.

That being said, one should do some analysis w/ good statistical sampling....




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Posts: 12713 | Location: In the gilded cage | Registered: December 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Muzzle flash
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I use an Omron wrist monitor and it doesn't usually show much difference between arms. Since I'm right handed I typically use the left wrist, but when I use the right wrist I get similar readings.

flashguy




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Posts: 27902 | Location: Dallas, TX | Registered: May 08, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Void Where Prohibited
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While it's not common, it's not rare, either.
My mother had a pronounced difference in blood pressure when read on both arms. I think her left arm was the one that always read very low.

One time when she had major surgery they kept her in the recovery room for many hours more than usual because her blood pressure was too low. When someone finally decided to try the other arm, they got normal readings. I think they were using her left arm because easy access to her right arm was blocked by some equipment or something.



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Posts: 16509 | Location: Under the Boot of Tyranny in Connectistan | Registered: February 02, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nullus Anxietas
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quote:
Originally posted by RogB:
I mentioned the variance to my cardiologist who asked that I monitor it for couple weeks and let him know results. My internist basically brushed it off, saying it's a "physiological phenomenon."
Fire your internist.

Different blood pressure in right and left arms could signal trouble

Last time I checked my right arm it was the same as my left, w/in a couple points or so. I suppose I should do it again.



"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system,,,, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe
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Posts: 26009 | Location: S.E. Michigan | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yes, this is worth following up. I just had my vessels checked for blockage because of some heart pain I had in September. The doc made a point of checking all my pulse points both arms and legs, and so did my cardio doc. Reasoning had to do with potential blockage of one of the major vessels.


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Posts: 5303 | Registered: October 24, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nullus Anxietas
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I'm surprised neither sjtill nor ZSMICHAEL have commented yet.

Weigh-in day for me--at which time I also check and record my BP. Today I did the right arm as well. Results:

L: 121/83
R: 129/84

Less than ten points difference between the two. I've seen that much variation in the same arm, measurement-to-measurement, with the device set to single-shot measurements.

According to the article I linked earlier:
quote:

Different blood pressure readings in the right and left arms that vary by a few points aren’t anything to worry about. It’s actually quite normal. A difference of more than 10 points, though, could suggest trouble.



"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system,,,, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe
"If we let things terrify us, life will not be worth living." -- Seneca the Younger, Roman Stoic philosopher
 
Posts: 26009 | Location: S.E. Michigan | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by irreverent:
Yes, this is worth following up. I just had my vessels checked for blockage because of some heart pain I had in September. The doc made a point of checking all my pulse points both arms and legs, and so did my cardio doc. Reasoning had to do with potential blockage of one of the major vessels.
As another data point. My coworker was mountain biking in the Rocky Mountains and went over the handlebar. She banged up her leg pretty bad, went to ER, followed up with her doctor, and was prescribed PT. She wasn't getting better after months, and was transferred to more and more senior PTs. Finally, the 4th PT checked the blood pressure in both legs and found a vast difference between normal leg and injured leg. She had crushed a major artery and needed a stint even though she was only in her 20s.



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Posts: 23208 | Location: Northern Suburbs of Houston | Registered: November 14, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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