atherosclerosis

Doctor checking BP

When we check our blood pressure, we usually do it in one arm or the other. But there is a good reason to check our blood pressure in both arms. A large difference in systolic blood pressure between arms – defined as ≥ 10 mm Hg - may be a sign of increased cardiovascular disease – and even the threat of death.

That is because when blood pressure is higher in one arm, it may be because of  narrowing in a blood vessel, called “artery”, in that arm.  The most common cause of blood vessel narrowing in the body is atherosclerosis (buildup of cholesterol); and, since atherosclerosis tends to affect blood vessels throughout the body, it can impede blood flow to vital organs like the heart and the brain, causing a heart attack or stroke. 

Mild Inter-arm systolic blood pressure...

shutterstock_211260655 Artery blocked by atherosclerotic plaque via Shutterstock

Cholesterol deposits in the arteries of the heart, or atheorsclerosis, are major indices of current or impending heart disease/heart attacks. For many years, the preferred way of lowering blood cholesterol has been with the use of statin drugs, like Lipitor.

Statins inhibit the biosynthesis of cholesterol in the liver, which is responsible for about 80 percent of the total cholesterol in the body. But if a person already has significant...