Comparison of upper arm and forearm blood pressure
The upper arm is the primary site used to obtain a blood pressure measurement (BPM); however, when it is not possible to use the upper arm, the forearm is a commonly used alternate site. This study determines if there is a significant difference between upper arm and forearm BPMs among adults and examines the relationship of participant characteristics to the BPM difference. A convenience sample was recruited from a low-income, independent-living, 104-apartment complex in the Midwest. Of the 106 participants, 64% were female and 89% were White. Ages ranged from 20 to 85 years (M = 50.7). The investigators calculated the BMIs (range = 18 to 42, M = 29.3, SD = 5.4) for the 89% (n = 94) of participants who reported their weight. The forearm tended to have higher BPMs than the upper arm (M difference = 4.0 mm Hg systolic, 2.3 mm Hg diastolic). However, site differences were greatest for men, obese adults, and middle aged (36 to 65) adults.
School of Nursing
Blood pressure comparison, Forearm, Upper arm
Domiano, Kathy L., Susan M. Hinck, Debra L. Savinske, and Kathryn L. Hope. "Comparison of upper arm and forearm blood pressure." Clinical Nursing Research 17, no. 4 (2008): 241-250.
Clinical Nursing Research