Why having high blood pressure can quadruple the risk of developing a brain tumour

(HealthcareItNews.com) — People with high blood pressure may be at increased risk of developing brain tumours, according to a new study.

The overall risk doubles for people with the highest blood pressure levels, compared to those with the lowest.

But it increases up to fourfold for some people diagnosed with meningioma who had high blood pressure, claim researchers from Austria, Norway and Sweden.

The scientists took the blood pressure measurements of 580,000 people and then waited to see if they went on to develop a benign or malignant brain tumour over the next ten years.

Around one-third of those taking part were diagnosed with hypertension, the medical name for high blood pressure.

A total of 1,312 people were diagnosed with a brain tumour during the follow-up period, including one-third with high-grade tumours which are more likely to spread.

The findings show that the 20 per cent of participants with the highest blood pressure readings were twice as likely to be diagnosed with meningioma or malignant glioma, types of brain tumour accounting for most cases.

The extra risk was compared to the risk affecting 20 per cent with the lowest readings.

For people with meningioma, which are tumours of the protective membrane around the brain, the risk was as high as fourfold.

The study was published in the Journal of Hypertension, and the researchers were funded by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF).

About 9,000 cases of brain tumours are diagnosed in Britain each year, but scientists warn that little is known about the causes.

Lead researcher Michael Edlinger, epidemiologist at the Medical Statistics Department in Innsbruck in Austria said: ‘These results are interesting because the large number of people in this study and the fact that more than 1,000 of them developed brain tumours mean it is unlikely that the findings are down to chance.

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