Association of an inter-arm systolic blood pressure difference with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality: An updated meta-analysis of cohort studies

Int J Cardiol. 2015;189:211-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2015.04.079. Epub 2015 Apr 12.


Objective: To evaluate whether an association exists between an inter-arm systolic blood pressure difference (sIAD) and all-cause and cardiovascular mortality.

Methods: We searched for cohort studies that evaluated the association of a sIAD and all-cause or cardiovascular mortality in the electronic databases Medline/PubMed and Embase (August 2014). Random effects models were used to calculate pooled hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

Results: Nine cohort studies (4 prospective and 5 retrospective) enrolling 15,617 participants were included. The pooled HR of all-cause mortality for a sIAD of ≥ 10 mm Hg was 1.53 (95% CI 1.14-2.06), and that for a sIAD of ≥ 15 mm Hg was 1.46 (1.13-1.88). Pooled HRs of cardiovascular mortality were 2.21 (95% CI 1.52-3.21) for a sIAD of ≥ 10mm Hg, and 1.89 (1.32-2.69) for a sIAD of ≥ 15 mm Hg. In the patient-based cohorts including hospital- and diabetes-based cohorts, both sIADs of ≥ 10 and ≥ 15 mm Hg were associated with increased all-cause (pooled HR 1.95, 95% CI 1.01-3.78 and 1.59, 1.06-2.38, respectively) and cardiovascular mortality (pooled HR 2.98, 95% CI 1.88-4.72 and 2.10, 1.07-4.13, respectively). In the community-based cohorts, however, only a sIAD of ≥ 15 mm Hg was associated with increased cardiovascular mortality (pooled HR 1.94, 95 % CI 1.12-3.35).

Conclusions: In the patient populations, a sIAD of ≥ 10 or of ≥ 15 mm Hg could be a useful indictor for increased all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, and a sIAD of ≥ 15 mm Hg might help to predict increased cardiovascular mortality in the community populations.

Keywords: All-cause mortality; Cardiovascular mortality; Inter-arm systolic blood pressure difference; Meta-analysis.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Pressure Determination
  • Blood Pressure*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Cause of Death*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Systole*