Wrist VS Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor – Comparison

With hypertension being the most common disease among the Indians, we are always searching for the latest products for self-monetarization purposes. The only demand we have is a faultless convenient product. And to fulfil our wish, we always try out something new and innovative.

With that, the wrist BP Monitors have become quite popular in the market. And most popular brands are adding new technologies and ideas to make their wrist monitors stand out in the crowd.

But before buying it, one must know how good it is compared to the upper arm BP monitor. In this article, we have made a detailed comparison of both the monitors and added our opinion about the best one.

Wrist VS Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor

BP Monitors

Blood Pressure monitors are ideally designed for self-monitorization purposes so that the patient doesn’t have to visit the doctors or healthcare providers regularly. Generally, the two most popular types of BP monitors are

Upper Arm BP Monitor

These are the most commonly used BP Monitor and can also be seen in the doctor’s offices. As the name suggests, this BP Monitor measures your body’s blood pressure by checking the upper arm’s arteries.

Wrist BP Monitor

These are the innovative BP Monitor which calculates your body blood pressure by measuring the pressure in wrist arteries. Though it is not as successful as the upper arm BP Monitor, it has gained popularity because of its compact size.

These two BP Monitors have the same features and functionalities, but they differ physically. While the upper BP Monitor kit has a distinct display unit and the arm cuff connected by an air tube, the wrist BP Monitor has both the part fused.

Other than that, these two monitors also differ in performance and convenience.

Why the difference?

Whenever we compare an upper arm BP Monitor with a Wrist BP Monitor, we can say the accuracy difference. The latter’s measurement reading differs from the former by 5 to 10 points, at least. But the accuracy difference can go up higher because of various reasons.

One such main reason is the posture of the user while taking the measurement. It is a well-known fact that the cuff should rest at the heart level for better accuracy during self-monitorization. For the upper arm monitor, the arm cuff naturally rests at such a position. Therefore, while using the upper arm BP Monitor, the user doesn’t have to struggle to hold any particular position. So, the measurement of blood pressure with an upper arm BP Monitor comes with comfortableness and convenience.

But this is not the case with the wrist BP monitor. The user needs to hold his testing hand up so that the wrist monitor can match the heart level. Or else, there is a high chance of inaccuracy. Though the testing process can end in 30 seconds to 1 minute, which is a minimal amount to hold any position, it may be inconvenient for older adults.

So, in short, a wrist BP Monitor is position sensitive, which can even affect your BP reading. The only solution to this issue is paying attention to the posture and cuff resting level.

Another problem the older adults will face is the narrowing of the blood capillaries. As the human body grows older, calcification or arteriosclerosis causes the blood capillaries to grow narrower. It becomes more common in the wrist arteries because they are further away from the heart.

Moreover, this narrowing of the blood vessels becomes more common in diabetic patients and smokers. So, wrist BP Monitors must always be avoided for these groups of people, as it would be very much inaccurate.

Another reason for the accuracy difference is the measurement of fewer blood vessels. We have fewer blood vessels in our wrist than our upper arm. It causes the wrist BP Monitor to measure a lesser number of blood vessels than the upper arm monitor to display the result. While the cuff’s placement causes reading differences, it becomes a helpful feature for a few people.

Among all the guidelines for accuracy, one of the most essential was the cuff’s proper fitting. And the upper arm cuff has a size limitation of 22 cm to 32 cm (in general), which can fit an extensive range of the population. But there are few obsess people out there for whom the arm cuff doesn’t sit fit. So, they need something with a larger size than what is offered by the manufacturers. So, wrist BP Monitors can be a better option as our wrist doesn’t vary as much as our upper arm does.

Wrist BP Monitor is popular among another group of people who wants all the bells and whistles of an upper arm BP Monitor but in a compact size. It becomes one crucial factor when you need to travel a lot. So, wrist BP Monitors are also popular because of its compactness and portability.

Which measurement is more useful?

Both the upper arm and wrist BP Monitors can be useful for self-monitorization purposes at home. While one offers better accuracy and convenience, the other one provides portability and compactness. But if we need to answer the question exactly, we will always suggest going with an upper arm BP Monitor if you don’t have any cuff size problem. It offers better accuracy, which is the main motto of going through this regular self-monitorization process.

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