(HealthDay News) – For patients with hypertension, an interarm difference in systolic blood pressure of >10mmHg or >15mmHg is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality over 10 years.
Christopher E. Clark, PhD, of the University of Exeter in Devon, UK, and colleagues analyzed bilateral blood pressure measurements recorded at three successive surgery attendances in 230 people receiving treatment for hypertension in a rural primary care setting. Cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality were recorded during a median follow up of 9.8 years.
The researchers found that 24% of participants had a mean interarm difference in systolic blood pressure of >10mmHg and 9% had a difference of >15mmHg at recruitment. These differences correlated with an elevated risk of all-cause mortality (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 3.6 and 3.1, respectively). Among 183 participants without pre-existing cardiovascular disease who had an interarm difference in systolic blood pressure of >10mmHg or >15mmHg, the risk of mortality was also increased (HR, 2.7 and 2.6, respectively). There was a weaker association between an interarm difference in diastolic blood pressure of >10mmHg and an increased risk of cardiovascular events or death.
“Differences in systolic blood pressure between arms can predict an increased risk of cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality over 10 years in people with hypertension,” the authors write.