Health Advice



Double your high blood pressure protection with a two-arm check

By Michael Roizen, M.D. on

"Two-Fisted Law" is a 1932 movie starring Tim McCoy, with John Wayne as "Duke." It's a rough-and-tumble tale of how to tell right from wrong in the Old West. Turns out, it takes two fists -- or arms -- to tell right from wrong in a blood pressure reading, too.

According to researchers from the University of Exeter who analyzed data from 53,172 participants in 23 studies worldwide, if you take a blood pressure reading from both arms and accept the higher reading as the correct one, then 12.4% of folks' systolic blood pressure (top number) will change from below to above 130 mmHg, and 11.9% will see it move from below to above 140 mmHg. That places them solidly into the high blood pressure zone. And when that is identified, it means they can work to lower their blood pressure through lifestyle changes and by taking medication, reducing their risk of heart attack, stroke and dementia. (Your goal for healthiest blood pressure is 115/76.)

Next time you have a doctor appointment, ask for a two-arm blood pressure reading. If it is high, act ASAP to get it under control. There are a multitude of antihypertensive medications to try. If one doesn't work, try another. Also, start walking 10,000 steps a day or the equivalent; do strength-building exercises; manage stress; and eliminate red and processed meats, added sugars and other processed foods from your diet. That will go a long way toward bringing it down to a healthy level. You'll be glad you punched it out!



Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. His next book is "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow." Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should cover in a future column? If so, please email

(c)2022 Michael Roizen, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2022 Michael Roizen, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



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