Thursday, October 1, 2009

What is "Morning Hypertension"?


What is "Morning Hypertension" and how do I know I have it?

Morning Hypertension is defined as the weekly average for morning blood pressure reading (blood pressure measured within 1 to 2 hours after awakening in the morning) exceeding 135/85 mmHg.

There are two types of morning hypertension:

  • Patients either have consistently high blood pressure through the night or experience blood pressure increases while asleep.
  • Patients experience extreme dips in blood pressure at night and extreme surges in the morning.

In either case, it is very difficult to detect morning hypertension. By the time patients go to see a doctor, their blood pressure may have already decreased--making the condition impossible to diagnose. That is why doctors recommend monitoring blood pressure at home.

Significant Impact
There are important reasons why patients are being encouraged to differentiate between general hypertension and morning hypertension. It is common knowledge that cardiovascular events and stroke are more common in the morning, and both appear to be linked to morning hypertension. Organ damage and diabetic complications also seem to correlate with morning blood pressure surges.

Please contact your family physician for any questions or concerns that you may have.

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