Oxford study: One in eight people could have blood pressure without knowing it

Millions of Britons may be unknowingly suffering from high blood pressure because their levels only rise at night, research suggests.

A University of Oxford study found that one in eight people aged 40 to 75 had nighttime high blood pressure that would be missed at a day doctor appointment.

High blood pressure increases a person’s risk of heart attacks, strokes, and even death — especially if left untreated.

Healthy people typically see their blood pressure drop at night as the body relaxes and prepares for sleep.

However, researchers found that the opposite happens in 15 percent of people.

NHS watchdog NICE is currently recommending that GPs diagnose patients based on daily blood pressure readings alone.

But the Oxford team say ambulatory monitoring – when a cuff is worn for a 24-hour period – should be used more frequently.

Millions of Britons may be unknowingly suffering from high blood pressure because their levels only rise at night (file image)

Millions of Britons may be unknowingly suffering from high blood pressure because their levels only rise at night (file image)

Millions of Britons may be unknowingly suffering from high blood pressure because their levels only rise at night (file image)

The study’s lead author, Professor Lionel Tarassenko, said: “Daytime blood pressure measurements are not enough.

“Blood pressure follows a cyclical pattern over 24 hours. Normally it decreases at night during sleep and increases again after waking up.

“For ‘reverse dippers’ — mostly older people, sometimes with diabetes or kidney disease — the pattern is reversed. Blood pressure rises at night and falls again after waking up.

“This means that ‘reverse dippers’ have their lowest blood pressure during the day and are therefore falsely reassured by daytime monitoring at home or at the GP clinic.”

Around 21,000 patients from 28 general practices and four hospitals in the Oxford area took part in the study.

In patients who were hospitalized, the researchers found that nearly half (49 percent) of those patients were “reverse dippers.”

Around 15 percent of the community participants had high blood pressure at night.

In both the hospital and community patient groups, one in three reverse dippers had at least one cardiovascular disease.

GP Laura Armitage, research associate at the University of Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, added: “Our research shows that measuring nocturnal blood pressure could help identify the one in eight adults in England who has undiagnosed suffering from high blood pressure.

“Importantly, this would also result in a reduction in cardiovascular disease and deaths.

“This underscores the need for GPs to offer 24-hour blood pressure monitoring to their patients.”

The study was published in the British Journal of General Practice.

WHAT IS HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR MY HEALTH?

High blood pressure or hypertension rarely has noticeable symptoms. But if left untreated, it increases your risk of serious problems like heart attacks and strokes.

More than one in four adults in the UK suffers from high blood pressure, although many don’t realize it.

The only way to find out if your blood pressure is high is to have your blood pressure checked.

Blood pressure is recorded with two numbers. Systolic pressure (higher number) is the force with which your heart pumps blood around your body.

Diastolic pressure (bottom number) is the resistance to blood flow in blood vessels. They are both measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg).

As a general guide:

  • High blood pressure is considered to be 140/90 mmHg or higher
  • The ideal blood pressure is between 90/60 mmHg and 120/80 mmHg
  • Low blood pressure is considered to be 90/60 mmHg or below
  • A blood pressure reading between 120/80 mmHg and 140/90 mmHg could mean you are at high risk of high blood pressure if you don’t take steps to keep your blood pressure under control.

High blood pressure puts additional strain on your blood vessels, heart and other organs such as the brain, kidneys and eyes.

Persistent high blood pressure can increase your risk of a number of serious and potentially life-threatening conditions, such as:

  • heart disease
  • Heart attack
  • punches
  • heart defect
  • peripheral arterial disease
  • aortic aneurysms
  • kidney disease
  • vascular dementia

Source: NHS

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk


https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/health-news/oxford-study-one-in-eight-people-might-have-blood-pressure-without-knowing/ Oxford study: One in eight people could have blood pressure without knowing it

Brian Ashcraft

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