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Morning Blood Pressure and Stroke Risk

separator Blood pressure spikes in the morning increase the risk of stroke in the elderly, according to a report in Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association. The spikes are also linked to lesions in the brain that are called “silent strokes.”

Researchers found that of people who experienced a blood pressure surge in the morning, 19 percent had a stroke in the follow-up period of the study, compared with 7.3 percent of people who did not have morning surges. The rate of silent strokes was 55 percent for those in the morning surge group, compared with 33 percent for those who were not.

This information could lead to a change in the way doctors prescribe blood pressure medication for people who do have higher morning numbers.

Circulation, rapid access version, 4 March 2003
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