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Hypertension While Lying Down Tied to Worse Cardiovascular Disease Outcomes

(HealthDay News) — Having hypertension while in a supine position is associated with a higher risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD), CVD-related events, and death, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association Hypertension 2023 Scientific Sessions, held from Sept. 7 to 10 in Boston.

Duc M. Giao, from Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues examined whether hypertension while supine in clinic is a risk factor for CVD independent of seated blood pressure. The analysis included 11,369 participants in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (1987 to 1989) followed for a median of 25 to 28 years.

The researchers found that when adjusting for seated hypertension, supine hypertension was associated with incident coronary heart disease (hazard ratio [HR], 1.60), heart failure (HR, 1.83), stroke (HR, 1.86), fatal coronary heart disease (HR, 2.18), and all-cause mortality (HR, 1.43). Results persisted regardless of hypertension medication use. Risk for participants with supine hypertension alone was similar to hypertension in both positions.

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“Our findings suggest people with known risk factors for heart disease and stroke may benefit from having their blood pressure checked while lying flat on their backs,” Giao said in a statement. “Efforts to manage blood pressure during daily life may help lower blood pressure while sleeping. Future research should compare supine blood pressure measurements in the clinic with overnight measurements.”

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