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Different blood pressure right/left arm
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Different blood pressure right/left arm

  I started donating blood about a year ago at age 31.  The last two times I've donated blood I had different blood pressure readings in both arms.  The first time I was told that my blood pressure was too high too donate.  This was with my right arm, I asked them to check my left arm and found that it was within the allowable limits for donation.  The next time I donated blood, I mentioned the previous blood pressure problem to the nurse.  The blood pressure was again different in both arms.  I wrote down the numbers.... right arm - 152 over 82, left arm - 126 over 72.  Have you heard of this happening to other people and should I be concerned that I may have a circulatory problem.  TX Larry
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Dear Larry,
There is a concern that this blood pressure difference is real and therfore indicates that there may
be an abnormality in the aorta (main blood vessel coming off the heart) in between the origin of two
of its' major branches, specifically between the right(this comes off first) and left sublclavian arterial
branches which feed your arms respectively.  What you should do is have your regular physician (general internist)
evaluate you for this blood pressure differential.  One of the conditions to rule-out so to speak if this differential
does exist is called coarctation of the aorta(a pinching of the aorta that occurs just after its take off from the heart.
The evaluation of course will require a full history and physical(listen for heart murmurs and the like) and so you should not
go in to your appointment thinking it will simply be a mannner of checking blood pressures.  Good Luck.
Information provided in the heart forum is intended for general medical informational purposes only, actual diagnosis and treatment
can only be made by your physician(s).

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