Warning to millions with high blood pressure when taking naps over increased risk of killer complications | The Sun

HAVING high blood pressure while lying on your back could mean you're at greater risk of heart attack or stroke, a study shows.

Some 16 per cent of people who did not have high blood pressure when seated were found to have it when lying down, US researchers said.

They were at greater risk of the two killer complications, as well as heart failure and overall chances of premature death, they found.

Lead author Duc Giao, of Harvard Medical School, said: “If blood pressure is only measured while people are seated upright, cardiovascular disease risk may be missed if not measured also while they are lying supine on their backs.

“Our findings suggest people with known risk factors for heart disease and stroke may benefit from having their blood pressure checked while lying flat on their backs.”

You are considered to have high blood pressure — known medically as hypertension — if your reading is 140/90mmHg or more when taken by a doctor.

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The condition causes around 75,000 deaths a year and is known to affect at least one in three Brits.

It can increase your risks of heart disease, heart attacks and stroke, as well as aneurysms, kidney disease and dementia.

The latest research, presented at the American Heart Association’s Hypertension Scientific Sessions 2023 in Boston, looked at how blood pressure when sitting or lying down affected the risk.

Researchers looked at health data of 11,369 adults with an average age of 54 and tracked them for an average of up to 28 years.

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They took blood pressure readings when sitting and lying down, and tracked whether they suffered complications later in life.

Those who had high blood pressure when seated and lying down were 2.18 times more likely to die from coronary artery disease.

They were 1.86 times more likely to have a stroke, 1.83 times more at risk of heart failure and 1.43 times more likely to die early.

People who did not have high blood pressure when seated but did when lying had similar increased risks, researchers said.

Giao said: “Efforts to manage blood pressure during daily life may help lower blood pressure while sleeping. 

“Future research should compare supine blood pressure measurements in the clinic with overnight measurements.”

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