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What causes blood pressure difference in right and left arm?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 2408 Questions
My blood pressure reading in my right arm is a bout 12 to 15 points higher than my left. what does it mean? should I be concern? what should I do?
Posted Wed, 5 Feb 2014 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Shanthi.E 44 minutes later
Brief Answer: repeat the blood pressure reading Detailed Answer: Hello, This difference in blood pressure reading can just be a variation of the normal blood pressure. It could be an error or physiological change. One serious medical condition that causes this blood pressure difference between the arms is coarctation of aorta. You are now 45 yrs old. If this were present in you, it must have manifested much earlier in life. So, I do not think this is the possibility in you. I would suggest you to repeat the blood pressure recordings on 3 to 4 several occasions again, and check if the difference still remains. Most likely, it is benign. It should not cause you any problem. You can also get an elective ECG of your heart done to rule out any major cardiac pathology. Hope this helps. Regards,
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Follow-up: What causes blood pressure difference in right and left arm? 18 minutes later
I have repeated the recording for the last 3 days and the difference was as high as 25 points one time. I had an ECG done about a month ago and it was fine.could it be peripheral artery disease ? should I go see a cardiologist?
Answered by Dr. Shanthi.E 38 minutes later
Brief Answer: peripheral artery disease unlikely Detailed Answer: Hello, Peripheral artery disease most likely occurs in the lower limbs and does not manifest as difference in blood pressure readings in both arms. Also, it presents with pain in the legs, and other features. Not like this. Hence, it is unlikely in you. Yes, you can see a cardiologist for the same. No harm in it. Regards,
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Follow-up: What causes blood pressure difference in right and left arm? 33 minutes later
Thank you for your detailed more thing since I can't see my cardiologist for a week what should I look out for in the mean time besides recording my blood pressure reading?
Answered by Dr. Shanthi.E 12 minutes later
Brief Answer: watch for these symptoms Detailed Answer: Hello, Besides recording the blood pressure, please watch for dizzy spells, fainting attacks, headaches, swelling in either of the upper limbs, sudden and rapid changes in your heart rate or pulse. Ideally, these should not happen in you. Take care!
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