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Tuesday, 03 September 2013 11:21

Forgetting daily blood pressure tablets increases the risk of stroke, heart attack and death

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(mail online) Forgetting to take blood pressure tablets could increase the risk of heart attack or stroke by 40 per cent, research shows.

High blood pressure affects a third of adults and, if left untreated, greatly raises the chances of heart attacks, strokes and other potentially fatal conditions.

But new evidence suggests that dramatic swings in blood pressure can have an equally devastating effect on health.

Experts are warning that long-term variation in blood pressure – over months or years – can increase the risk of early death by 35 per cent, while the chances of a stroke or heart attack increase by 42 per cent compared to those with stable readings.

Patients taking their medication irregularly is one of the main reasons why blood pressure may swing dramatically. Even if their average readings remain below recommended limits, they remain at risk if they have wildly variable readings, the study found.

Other reasons for fluctuating blood pressure include stress, underlying conditions such as diabetes, which can damage blood vessels, or a genetic pre- disposition.

Known as the silent killer, because the symptoms often go unnoticed until it is too late, high blood pressure or hypertension is the single biggest cause of death worldwide.

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