(HealthDay News) – Systolic blood pressure that differs by more than 10 or 15mmHg between arms is associated with a higher risk of vascular problems and death, according to a study published online January 30 in The Lancet.
Christopher E. Clark, Ph.D., from the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, and colleagues reviewed 28 papers on the association of differences in systolic blood pressure between arms and vascular diseases, subclavian stenosis, or survival. Of these, 20 reported quantitative data and were used to perform a meta-analysis.
The researchers found that a difference in systolic blood pressure of ≥15mmHg between arms was associated with a higher risk of pre-existing cerebrovascular disease (risk ratio [RR], 1.6), cardiovascular mortality (hazard ratio [HR], 1.7), and all-cause mortality (HR, 1.6). Peripheral vascular disease was associated with a difference of ≥10mmHg (RR, 2.4) or ≥15mmHg (RR, 2.5). A difference of ≥10mmHg was associated with a very high risk of subclavian stenosis (RR, 8.8).
“In conclusion, our findings suggest that a difference in systolic blood pressure of ≥10mmHg or ≥15mmHg between arms could identify patients at high risk of asymptomatic peripheral vascular disease and mortality who might benefit from further assessment,” Clark and colleagues write.