Just as American Heart Month begins, a reader sent in a question on checking blood pressure at home -- which, as it turns out, is more nuanced than it looks. So what's the proper way to go about it?
There are a couple of concerns when using a home monitoring device to measure blood pressure: which arm to use, and how long to wait before testing. Luckily, the Mayo Clinic and the American Heart Assn. have some guidance on the subject.
There's usually a slightly measurable difference in blood pressure between your arms, according to the heart association. Your dominant arm will probably be higher. If you're left-handed, pressure may be higher in the left arm, and vice versa.
It shouldn't make a huge difference, but, the association adds: "If one arm has higher blood pressure than the other, that arm should be used to determine if you have hypertension."