What does it mean if you have different blood pressures in each arm?
While a minor difference of fewer than 10 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) is typically considered within the normal range, readings that are greater than 10 mm Hg different in each arm may be a sign of cardiovascular or circulatory concerns.
According to one 2019 study, a blood pressure difference of even 10 mm Hg or greater may mean you are at a greater risk of having a stroke or fatal cardiovascular disease.
A 2020 research review of 24 studies that included 53, 827 participants, found that an inter-arm difference of greater than or equal to 5 mm Hg may indicate a cardiovascular risk. These researchers recommended that doctors should begin to routinely measure blood pressure in both arms.
A 2016 study found that a difference in arm-measured blood pressure was associated with more deaths among people with cardiovascular disease.