The purpose of this study was to determine the point prevalence of Inter-Arm Blood Pressure Difference (IAD) in a University Family Health Center (UFHC).
217 patients seen by the Uniformed Services University's (USU) UFHC were assessed in this non-randomized screening study. Blood pressure was measured simultaneously in both arms with automated sphygmomanometers in a seated position during normal scheduled appointment screening process after 5 minutes of sitting. The measure was repeated after one minute. The main outcome measure was to establish the point prevalence of either a systolic or diastolic IAD difference of ≥ 10 mmHg. Paired t-tests were used for categorical variables of active duty status, family history, gender, and smoking status, while an ANOVA test was used for race. Continuous variables of BMI and age were analyzed using a Pearson correlation.
The point prevalence of an IAD > 10 mmHg for either systolic or diastolic values combining two measurements was 14.2% for all participants with a mean age of 27.9 years. IAD had statistical significant association with hypertension, higher BMI, male gender, and non- Caucasians.
An IAD of > 10 mmHg is prevalent in > 10% of a typical University Health Center population. Bilateral blood pressure readings should be taken at least once in an adult population. The frequency of repeated measurements and their true prognostic value requires greater study.