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The wonders of high BP

Stiff arteries associated with high blood pressure could reduce the chances of migraine, say experts.
IANS | By HT Correspondent, London
UPDATED ON APR 15, 2008 01:40 PM IST

High blood pressure seems to reduce the chances of migraine, besides decreasing the quantum of chronic pain in other parts of the body.

Researchers believe that stiff arteries associated with high BP may play a role in protecting against migraine.

They tested the blood pressure (BP) of 51,353 men and women aged over 20 in Norway, including systolic, diastolic and pulse pressure rates.

Pulse pressure is the change in blood pressure when the heart contracts. It is determined by subtracting the diastolic BP, the bottom number, from the systolic BP or the top number.

The participants also completed a survey on the presence and frequency of headaches and their use of BP medications.

People with higher systolic BP were found to be 40 per cent less likely to have a headache or migraine compared to people with healthier BP rates.

"Higher pulse pressure was linked to up to a 50 per cent reduction in the amount of headache and migraine for both men and women," said study author Erling Tronvik, of Norwegian National Headache Centre.

"The finding was not as strong, however, for people who were taking BP medications, which are sometimes used to treat migraine."

The findings have been published in Tuesday's issue of Neurology.

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