A Hidden Clotting Problem?

Published Online: Friday, November 1, 2002

Blood pressure normally reaches its lowest level during sleep, but some people with high blood pressure have little or no blood pressure drop while sleeping, and that may signal an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, according to a new study presented at the American Heart Association?s recent high blood pressure conference.

The study focused on 741 people with hypertension and found that those who do not experience a blood pressure dip while they sleep had higher levels of the clotting factor fibrinogen. This could account, at least in part, for their increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

The study also confirmed previous findings that fibrinogen levels peak during winter months. The increase matches annual patterns of coronary events and death, which peak during the winter.

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