A study of 230 high blood pressure patients has revealed that large discrepancies in blood pressure between each arm could indicate risks of dying earlier.
The study found that those with big differences in systolic pressure were more likely to die from heart attack, stroke or other causes. This is of particular concern given that not all medics follow national guidance advising that they should measure blood pressure in both arms.
Dr Christopher Clark from the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Exeter, who led the study, published in the British Medical Journal, said the message to doctors was simple: "Sorry guys, but you really need to follow the guidelines by measuring both arms when you're assessing blood pressure," he told the BBC.
The 230 patients observed all had high blood pressure and were followed for ten years after being diagnosed. Previous studies in The Lancet also support the results of the latest study, finding that large differences in readings could indicate higher risk of vascular disease and death.