A new study has found that that people who have severe blood pressure fluctuations are likely to be suffering from heart disease, and may even be at risk of experiencing an early death.
Paul Muntner, lead researcher and professor of epidemiology from the School of Public Health from University of Alabama (Birmingham), gave a statement saying that “Patients should have their blood pressure controlled. They should be aware that their blood pressure changes, and if there is a lot of variation, they might want to talk with their doctor about why it’s changing”.
He went on to stress that these variations often point to the arteries going through an increasing amount of damage. Stiffening in particular is a major cause for concern and a common problem.
For their study, the research team looked at a large number of people who were on either blood pressure meds or cholesterol meds and noticed that if a patient’s systolic blood pressure had a variation of more than 14 mm Hg between doctor check ups, they had 25 percent (25%) more of a change of experiencing heart failure.
Overall, professor Muntner and his team examined data collected from almost 26.000 people. The subjects had their systolic blood pressure taken after every five (5), six (6) or seven (7) doctor visits. Said visits stretched over a period of six (6) to 28 months.
When the medical experts compared subjects with a stable blood pressure to those with a less stable blood pressure, they discovered that patients whose systolic blood pressure had an average variation of 15 mm Hg between doctor check ups, had 30 percent (30%) more of a change of experiencing heart attacks and fatal heart diseases, as well as 46 percent (46%) more of a change of experiencing strokes.
On top of everything, the change of dyeing from any of these conditions was 58 percent (58%) higher for people with severe blood pressure fluctuations.
Professor Muntner did inform that this is a condition people can do something about. There are certain blood pressure meds, diuretics and calcium channel blockers for instance, known for their ability to control blood pressure variations better than competing treatments.
However he also said that he doesn’t advice anyone to chance their meds since the study did not offer undeniable proof that putting an end to blood pressure variations will stop a person from developing heart disease or experiencing a heart attack.
The study was only able to illustrate that there is a link between pressure variations, heart disease and death, but a direct cause and effect association has yet to be established.
All of this having been said, Dr. Gregg Fonarow, professor of cardiology from the University of California (Los Angeles), felt it was important to note that high blood pressure is considered to be one of the leading factors that contribute to stokes, heart attacks, heart failure, and even premature death.
He advised people to try and lower their systolic blood pressure to 140 mm Hg or less, and their diastolic blood pressure to 90 mm Hg or less.
The study was published earlier this week, on Monday (July 27, 2015), in the medical journal Annals of Internal Medicine.
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