Stroke: measure blood pressure on both arms

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If the values ​​differ, see a doctor immediately

If you have an increased risk of a stroke, you should always measure your blood pressure on both arms and, if the values ​​differ, immediately consult a doctor, as recommended by Norbert Smetak from the Federal Association of Resident Cardiologists (BNK) in Munich to the news agency "dpa ". According to a recent study by the University of Seoul, the risk of dying from heart disease increases as soon as there is a difference between the two (lower) values ​​of ten millimeters of mercury (mmHg) - because, according to Norbert Smetak, this indicates that on the Arterial damage is present on the lower side of the body.

Deviations in both blood pressure values ​​can result in hardening of the arteries. When measuring blood pressure, two values ​​are usually given (e.g. 120: 80), which are also referred to as "systolic" (upper) and "diastolic" (lower) blood pressure. But what does it actually mean? When the heart pumps blood through the body, it does not happen uniformly, but rather in a wave-like manner, i.e. as soon as the left ventricle contracts, the blood is pumped intermittently into the main artery (aorta), causing the blood pressure in the vessels to rise for a short time - The maximum pressure reached during this process is referred to as "systolic" or "upper" blood pressure.

After the contraction, the heart muscle relaxes, because for the next pumping process, blood has to collect in the heart chamber again. Since no blood is pumped into the aorta during the state of relaxation, the pressure in the vessels drops again - the lowest value reached is therefore referred to as “diastolic” (diastole: Greek = the expansion) or “lower” blood pressure.

In general, according to Smetak, deviations in both values ​​could result in the arteries - i.e. the blood vessels that carry the blood away from the heart - hardening, which means that the blood can no longer flow unhindered and vessels in the entire body can be damaged. According to the expert, angina pectoris and heart attacks could result from increased diastolic blood pressure, and sustained increases in systolic blood pressure could lead to kidney damage and strokes, among other things.

Recognize risks faster with bilateral blood pressure measurement According to Smetak, bilateral measurement has another advantage: Since patients with an increased risk of stroke in many cases also have a more stiffened carotid artery and a larger left ventricle than healthy people, risks could be identified more quickly in this way and treatment measures are taken. (No)

Image: Rainer Sturm /

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