Blood pressure huge left/right differ... - British Heart Fou...

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Blood pressure huge left/right difference

mrpenguin profile image

Hi all, family member is having this issue with their blood pressure.. Does anybody recognise this kind of difference and what it indicates? They have an appointment with the Doctor in a few days.

24 hours ago

Left arm 83/70

Right arm 124/90

In the last hour

Left arm 72/65

Right arm 121/84

The higher normal right reading seems fine but what is behind a drop in 50 points? A blockage?

Any advice would be appreciated.

6 Replies

Hi Mr P. This site is no substitute for medical advice and merely reflects experience and mostly non medical knowledge of forum members. Blood pressure differentials you describe can be caused by coarctation of the aorta. This is a congenital narrowing of the aorta like the crimping of a pipe so it has a narrow section which can be replaced by surgery. My brother had this condition from birth but was only diagnosed and corrected in his mid thirties. It was only identified during a routine medical which revealed the different BP measures you describe. Up to that point he enjoyed good health and continues to do so. He puts his good fortune down to never participating in strenuous exercise! I hope your GP appointment gives you the answers you need and a satisfactory way forward

mrpenguin profile image
mrpenguin in reply to IanGordon

Thanks for your response. The family member is in their mid 60s, has had previous surgery for blockages and a heart attack and is on statins, BP meds etc.. If that changes anything?

IanGordon profile image
IanGordon in reply to mrpenguin

I'm sorry but with that history of medical scrutiny I think it unlikely that my initial remarks would be relevant and as a layman, it would be irresponsible of me to speculate further. It's important that you pursue further investigation through your GP who may refer your family member on to his previous cardiologist who will have the relevant history on which to base a diagnosis or to arrange further tests to enable diagnosis and treatment. If further symptoms arise that concern you, then 111 or 999 should be your next action.

There's a limit to what we can collectively do in support of forum members, but please keep us posted. I wish you well

mrpenguin profile image
mrpenguin in reply to IanGordon

Thanks for taking the time to respond. I wasn't expecting much as I understand the position of anybody giving out advice on here. It was more a throw it out there and see who responds and perhaps somebody with similar history would recognise what is occurring. I will update this when more is known just for reference sake for anybody who it might be of use to later on.

Wanted to add as well that pulse is consistent and normal across both arms..

Ashleigh_BHF profile image
Ashleigh_BHFBHF Nurse

Hi mrpenguin

It's important that your family member visits their GP or contacts their cardiologist and discusses the differences in BP in each arm so they can investigate further. If they experience severe chest pain then call 999.

Best of luck,


Just to follow up because I said I would do. They had an appointment with the GP, 1st for an ecg which was fine & then a followup the other day where the doctor said they don't understand why there is a difference in the sides and that's it, sent on their way. fobbed off? A consistent 20+ point difference in sides isn't normal. Whether the readings are higher or lower the 20+ point difference is present.

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