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High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure

07/13/2009

Question:

During the day my blood pressure varies 130/83, 134/91 but at nlight I wake up and took it for fun and it has run on different nights 168 and tonight 177/98. Why is this happening and what can I do?

Answer:

In most people, hypertensive or not, the blood pressure is lower at night than during the day.  It is possible that stress or anxiety cause a person to wake up at night.  In that case, high catecholamine levels lead to palpitations and transient elevations of blood pressure.

In your case, if your blood pressure is repeatedly elevated at night and normal during the day, you may consider getting 24 h ambulatory blood pressure monitoring to determine your true blood pressure profile.  Elevated nighttime blood pressures are associated with increased cardiovascular risk and may require treatment.

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Response by:

Max C Reif, MD Max C Reif, MD
Professor of Medicine
Director of Hypertension Section
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati