Blood Pressure Danger: Fluctuating Levels
Reported May 13, 2010
(Ivanhoe Newswire) — We all know that high blood pressure is dangerous, but a new study reveals having blood pressure that fluctuates can be an even more serious problem.
Researchers found the risk of cerebrovascular disease is higher among those who have fluctuating blood pressure in addition to high blood pressure. Cerebrovascular disease includes stroke and other disorders affecting blood vessels in the brain.
Investigators from Columbia University’s Taub Institute in New York studied 686 older adults who did not have dementia. The participants had their blood pressure taken during three visits at 24-month intervals and also underwent testing with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Results showed elevated blood pressure and fluctuations in blood pressure were both associated with cerebrovascular disease. Those with a higher average blood pressure and more fluctuation were more likely to have cerebrovascular disease than those with either condition alone.
“These findings suggest that management of blood pressure fluctuations, even in normotensive older adults, may be beneficial in reducing the risk of cerebrovascular disease and in maximizing healthy cognitive aging,” the study authors wrote.
SOURCE: Archives of Neurology, 2010;67: 564-569