Difference in blood pressure between arms might reflect peripheral vascular disease

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.323.7309.399 (Published 18 August 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:399
  1. C E Clark, general practitioner ([email protected])
  1. School Surgery, Witheridge, Devon EX16 8AH

    EDITOR—I believe that McAlister and Straus underestimate the frequency and significance of a blood pressure difference between the arms.1 They quote 6% from the paper by Harrison et al, but this group reported a difference in 10/131 (that is, 7.6%) normotensive subjects for systolic or diastolic differences, 44/310 hypertensive patients (14%) for a systolic difference, and 31/310 hypertensive patients (10%) for a diastolic difference.2

    I have reviewed the English language literature and identified 11 studies with comparable data on at least 100 subjects. These …

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