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Blood Pressure: Right side reading higher than left

  When I measure my blood pressure there is a 5-10 point higher reading of both systolic and diastolic on my right side than on my left side. Is this normal? The higher reading is consistent regardless of which side I take the reading on first. Which side should I take the reading on, does it matter? Which side is more accurate since the variation is so large? Is it common to have this result?
  I appreciate your reply.
Dear Mkenton
You should always use the higher blood pressure reading if there is a discrepancy between the arms. A difference of 5 to 10 is usually of little clinical significance. However, there are certain specific disorders that can cause a difference in blood pressure between the arms and you should mention the difference in pressures of your arms to your doctor. He can then make sure that you do not have disorders of the aorta or vascular disease (both of which I doubt).
I hope this has been useful. Feel free to write back with further questions. Good luck.
Information provided here is of a general nature.  Specific diagnoses and treatments can only be made by your doctor.  If you would like to be seen at the Cleveland Clinic, please call 1-800-CCF-CARE for an appointment with a cardiologist at Desk F15.

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