Objective. The type and level of sex steroids influence blood pressure (BP). It has been suggested that functional brain asymmetries may be influenced by sex hormones. In addition, there are inter-arm differences in BP not yet related with handedness. In this study, we hypothesize a possible association between sex hormones, handedness, and inter-arm differences in blood pressure.

Methods. To analyze this hypothesis, we measured BP in the left and right arm of the left and right handed adult young men and women in menstrual and ovulatory phase and calculated their mean arterial pressure (MAP).

Results. Significant differences depending on sex, arm, handedness or phase of the cycle were observed. MAP was mostly higher in men than in women. Remarkably, in women, the highest levels were observed in the left handed in menstrual phase. Interestingly, the level of handedness correlated negatively with MAP measured in the left arm of right-handed women in the ovulatory phase but positively with the MAP measured in the right arm of right-handed women in the menstrual phase.

Conclusions. These results may reflect an asymmetrical modulatory influence of sex hormones in BP control.