Is your Blood Pressure Higher in One Arm than The Other
Normally blood pressure difference in arms is not a big
problem, provided pressure difference is of small value.
Generally we divid blood pressure values in two parts. When heart contracts
blood pressure in vessels is called as systolic, and when heart relaxes blood pressure in arteries
is named as diastolic. A difference of less than 5 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) between arms for
either reading is normal. However, a difference of more than 20 mm Hg for systolic pressure or more
than 10 mm Hg for diastolic pressure may be a sign of an underlying problem — such as narrowing of
the main arteries to that arm or co-arctation of Aorta, or aortic dissection. If you have a
significant difference in blood pressure readings between both arms, consult your doctor for an
evaluation. Your doctor may go for chest X-ray, echocardiography or doppler studies of arteries of
Many factors may affect your blood pressure. To know a difference in blood
pressure between both arms, your doctor may take a series of alternate-arm blood pressure readings.
He or she may also take your blood pressure in both arms at the same time with two blood pressure
gauges and two observers. If your blood pressure is high in one arm than the other, then blood
pressure at high side is considered as actual blood pressure and treat that pressure.