Does Your Doctor Take Your Blood Pressure in Only One Arm?
Here is a surprise. The preferred way to take a patient's blood pressure is in both arms, not just one arm. Have you ever seen a doctor or nurse take blood pressure from both of your arms?
A new study indicates that if there is a certain difference between the blood pressure readings between a patient's right arm and left arm, this could be a sign of vascular disease and increased risk of heart disease.
Apparently, the proper way to take a patient's blood pressure is to take the reading from both arms. However, the blood pressure is not usually taken in this manner. Some say that less than half of the doctors take the blood pressure from both arms. From personal observations over the years, my guess is that the percentage of doctors doing the test properly is significantly less than half and is very possibly a very small percentage.
The theory is that when there are differing blood pressure readings in the two arms, that this could be a sign of hardening of the arteries on one side of the patient's body.
Here is more from the New York Times.