03/06/2003 - News

Morning blood pressure surge linked to stroke

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD


People who have a surge in their blood pressure during the morning are more likely to have a stroke.

Researchers in Japan studied a group of 519 people with high blood pressure. They measured ambulatory blood pressure - that is, blood pressure over a 24 hour period. At the same time, brain scans were done to see if there were lesions indicating the person had suffered a 'mini stroke' - a brief interruption of blood to the brain.

They found that those who had a morning surge in their systolic (upper figure) blood pressure were more likely to have had multiple mini strokes. They were also more likely to have a 'real' stroke. In fact, the morning surge was linked to a three times greater risk of stroke compared to those whose blood pressure varied in a less dramatic way. The goal of blood pressure medication should be to damp down this morning surge and so reduce stroke risk, the researchers say.


Circulation 3rd March 2003

Created on: 03/06/2003
Reviewed on: 03/06/2003

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