No Link Seen Between Hypertension And Headache

Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, & Psychiatry (JNNP Online)

By Harvey McConnell

Headaches and hypertension appear to be linked – but the opposite to popular perceptions.

Severe headaches may not be a sign of hypertension, and if anything, hypertension may reduce the risk of such headaches, finds Dr Knut Hagen and colleagues at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway.

There findings are based on a study of 22,685 adults who were not likely to have headache, had a baseline blood pressure measured in 1984-6, and who responded to a headache questionnaire at follow up 11 years later.

There is consensus among members of the International Headache Society that chronic arterial hypertension of mild to moderate degree does not cause headache, the clinicians point out. Most cross-sectional studies performed in unselected populations have shown no negative or positive association between blood pressure and the prevalence of headache.

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