Extreme fluctuations in blood pressure could turn fatal, warns research

12/11/2017

While having consistently high blood pressure levels is bad, a study has revealed that fluctuations in the systolic (top) reading is equally dangerous. According to the study, fluctuations increase risk of stroke, heart attack or even death.
The systolic blood pressure indicates how much pressure is being exerted by the blood against the arterial walls. Hypertension or high blood pressure is one of the most common lifestyle diseases prevalent today and is a major contributor to health problems like strokes and heart attacks.
Considered to be a “silent killer” by medical professionals across the globe, hypertension is a cardiovascular disease whose detection is a bit complex, due to its subtle signs and symptoms. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), a normal systolic blood pressure is less than 120 while high blood pressure is categorised as above 140.
The findings showed that patients with systolic blood pressure numbers that varied by as much as 30-40 between doctor visits over an extended period of time were more likely to die.
"Blood pressure is one of those numbers we encourage people to keep track of, as it's one indicator of your heart-health," said lead investigator Brian Clements, an internal medicine specialist with the Intermountain Medical Centre Heart Institute in Utah.
"If you allow your blood pressure to remain uncontrolled for any period of time, or notice big changes in your blood pressure between doctor visits, you increase your risk of stroke, heart attack, kidney or heart failure or even death," Clements added. For the study, to be presented at the 2017 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in California, the team examined visit-to-visit variability of systolic blood pressure in 10,903 patients. Patients should do everything they can to control their blood pressure on a regular basis, Clements said.
"Eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, and if your doctor has prescribed you medication for blood pressure, be sure to take them consistently. "Because any time your blood pressure is out of control, you're at higher risk of injury or death," Clements said.

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