Blood pressure variations between limbs

Patient

Q: My blood pressure is higher on my left arm....101 over 58 and lower on my right arm....88 over 63...why?

Doctor

A:   Slight variation sometimes exists between non-invasive blood pressure readings in the right and left arm or between the upper limbs and lower limbs. This can often be related to inadequate equipment for example incorrect blood pressure cuff size for lower limb measurement. If there is a significant difference between upper and lower limb blood pressure readings, this could represent a narrowing (stenosis) of a blood vessel or coarctation (narrowing) of the aorta (largest artery in the body). I would advise discussing your blood pressure results with your family physician and further investigation as appropriate.

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