Comparison between right and left upper arms in detection of hypertension

Bo Mi Song, Hyeon Chang Kim, Jee Seon Shim, Dae Ryong Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Objectives: This study aimed to investigate the right-left arm difference in detection of hypertension in the general Korean population. Methods: This study analyzed data from the Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease Etiology Research Center cohort. Study population was 2,103 people who were aged 30 to 64 years old, without history of major cardiovascular diseases, and did not use antihypertensive medication. Brachial blood pressures (BPs) were measured for both arms using an automated oscillometric device equipped with 2 cuffs for simultaneous double-arm measurements. Systolic and diastolic blood pressures (SBP and DBP) were measured 3 times, and the average value was used in the analysis. Overall hypertension was defined as elevated blood pressure (SBP/DBP ≥140/90 mmHg) at the arm with higher value, while right-arm or left-arm hypertension was defined as elevated BP at each arm. Sensitivity was calculated as the number of each-arm hypertension divided by the number of overall hypertension. Results: Overall 8.6% of the population had hypertension at either arm, while 7.8% had right-arm hypertension, 7.2% had left-arm hypertension, and 6.4% had both arms hypertension. The sensitivity for the detection of hypertension was 90.6% when BP was measured only at right arm, and 83.4% when measured only at left arm. Corresponding sensitivity were 87.9% and 87.1% in men, and 95.4% and 76.9% in women. Conclusions: Single-arm measurements, compared to double-arm measurements, may underestimate the prevalence of hypertension. However, if double-arm measurements are unavailable, right arm is preferred for measurement of BP, especially in women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-277
Number of pages11
JournalKorean Circulation Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The work was supported by grants from the Korean Health Technology R&D Project, Ministry of Health & Welfare (HI13C0715).

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2019. The Korean Society of Cardiology

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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