High Blood Pressure – Correlation of Blood Pressure And Heart Attacks Studied

(Star Global Tribune) —

Study Highlights:

– The human body clock influences blood pressure independent of changes in environment and behavior.

– The internally-driven, daily blood pressure cycle does not appear to be responsible for the known morning increase in cardiac events.

– Volunteers on three different sleep cycles had almost identical internal blood pressure cycles, peaking at about 9 p.m.

– The reason for the peak in heart and stroke in morning hours remains unexplained.

The internally-driven daily cycle of blood pressure changes doesn’t appear to be linked to the known increase in morning heart attacks, according to a study in Circulation Research: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Researchers sought to identify the role of the internal human body clock in the daily rise and fall in blood pressure. In the study, three groups of volunteers showed an internal daily blood pressure variation with a peak at around 9 p.m. — independent of changes in activity and other behavioral influences that can affect blood pressure.

Increased blood pressure is a major risk factor for adverse cardiovascular events. However, the study revealed that the internal blood pressure cycle resulted in the lowest blood pressure occurring in the late morning. This unexpected finding indicates that blood pressure’s internal circadian rhythm — a cycle of about 24 hours that occurs in many biological processes — is unlikely to be linked to the well-documented morning peak in heart events or strokes, said Steven A. Shea, Ph.D., lead author of the study and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass.

“We used three complementary experimental protocols and three different groups and found essentially the same results,” Shea said. “That means we’re dealing with something very robust.”


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