(HNGN) – A team of researchers studied the association between blood pressure swings and heart disease. The study, published online in the Annals of Internal Medicine, involved analyzing blood pressure readings from 25,814 participants who went through the Anti-hypertensive and Lipid Lowering Treatment to Prevent Heart Attack Trial (ALLHAT).
Typically, patients’ blood pressure is taken with every visit to the doctor. High blood pressure, which is known to increase the risk for heart attack, stroke, heart disease and other cardiovascular problems, alerts physicians. However, blood pressure variations are often considered less important, according to a summary for patients published alongside the original article in the online version of the Annals of Medicine.
The researchers recorded the participants’ blood pressures during seven physician visits that were spread out over 22 months to see if there were variations, and to see how much they varied.
The participants were then observed for an average of 2.8 years to check if any of them would develop cardiovascular disease or die. The blood pressure readings of those who exhibited cardiovascular disease were analyzed for variability.