Effects of variable high blood pressure

Q:  I am 73, trim, a vegan and exercise.  My blood pressure is extremely variable – in one day going from 190/92 to 167/83 to 135/65.  I am taking 5 different pills that don’t seem to help.  I have been told that since my BP does stay high I have nothing to worry about.  However, I have just read 3 studies by doctors that say variability can be more dangerous for stroke or heart attack than a consistent high BP.  They suggest a stabilizing drug.    What is your opinion about variable BP? 

A:  Current medical thinking is that variable high blood pressure puts you at risk for a heart attack and stroke.  You might want to discuss getting into better control with your doctor.  To read an article from the National Institutes of Health about variable blood pressure, click here.

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