Blood-Pressure Headache Link?

Published Online: Wednesday, May 1, 2002

Are headaches more common among people with hypertension? Over the years, different studies have produced data on both sides of the question. Now results published in the April 2002 issue of the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry suggest that headaches may actually be less common in those with high blood pressure.

Conducted at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, the study postulates that elevated blood pressure may cause an effect called hypertension-associated hypalgesia, which means that individuals with hypertension may have a higher pain threshold and thus fewer headaches.

The study found that people with a systolic blood pressure reading of ?150 mm Hg were 30% less likely to develop headaches than those with readings below 140 mm Hg. The risk of headache was also reduced as diastolic pressure increased.

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