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Detection of Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

by Hans R. Larsen, MSc ChE

Hans Larsen Fingerprints reveal high blood pressure
LONDON, ENGLAND. Doctors at the Southampton General Hospital aided by fingerprint experts from Scotland Yard have reached the surprising conclusion that the pattern of fingerprints is related to systolic blood pressure. They also found that people whose palm (especially the right one) is relatively long compared with its breadth have an increased tendency to suffer from hypertension. The researchers studied a group of 139 men and women born in Lancashire during the period 1935 to 1943. They found that the average systolic pressure was 8 mm higher in people who had a whorl pattern in their fingerprint on one or more fingers as compared to people who had a simple arch pattern. They conclude that both the whorl pattern and the narrow palm are indelible indications of impaired fetal development and that both are associated with raised blood pressure during adulthood. Note: The systolic blood pressure is the first (highest) reading in a blood pressure measurement.
Godfrey, K.M., et al. Relation of fingerprints and shape of the palm to fetal growth and adult blood pressure. British Medical Journal, Vol. 307, August 14, 1993, pp. 405-09

Interarm blood pressure differences are common
STONY BROOK, NEW YORK. A large difference between blood pressure measurements on the right and left arms are generally believed to indicate the possibility of disease involving the major arteries and their tributaries in the upper part of the body. Now researchers at the State University of New York report that large differences in blood pressure between the right and left arms are quite common. Their study involved 610 patients who had their blood pressure measured in both arms either simultaneously or sequentially (right arm first followed immediately by the left arm). The researchers discovered that the mean systolic blood pressure difference was about 10 mm Hg while the mean diastolic pressure difference was 8.5 mm Hg and 6.7 mm Hg for sequential and simultaneous measurements respectively. The researchers suggest that initial blood pressure measurements should be made in both arms while follow-up measurements should always be made in the same arm. They also suggest that the arm with the higher measurement should be used when monitoring hypertension. The researchers found that patients with known coronary heart disease tended to have a greater interarm systolic pressure difference than did people with no heart disease (14.5 mm Hg vs 10.4 mg Hg). They did, however, conclude that even a difference as large as 20 mm Hg may not be indicative of aortic dissection.
Singer, Adam J. and Hollander, Judd E. Blood pressure - Assessment of interarm differences. Archives of Internal Medicine, Vol. 156, September 23, 1996, pp. 2005-08

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