The Effect of High Altitudes on Blood Pressure

Q: About 2 years ago I moved to a high altitude location in the west. My blood pressure was always high normal and after a year it went sky high, 200+/110 and I had to be put on Clonidine .1mg to lower it. Within about 6 months of relocating back to sea level I was off medication and my blood pressure is now normal. Does high altitude have this much effect on blood pressure?

A: At high altitudes the body has to work harder to get oxygen. This can cause an increase in blood pressure even in people with normal blood pressure. With time, the body usually is able to adjust and blood pressure returns to its usual level. It sounds like you had prehypertension prior to moving to a high altitude. With prehypertension, blood vessels are less able to adjust to change. I assume your body was not able to accommodate for the extra work of getting oxygen to your body and your prehypertension became hypertension needing treatment. When you returned to sea level, the extra work was removed and your blood pressure reverted. Prehypertension is a risk factor for developing high blood pressure later on so you need to continue to monitor your pressure.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (7 votes, average: 4.86 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...