BP control may prevent white-matter lesions


NEW YORK (Reuters Health), Aug 24 - Diastolic blood pressure reductions might help lower the risk of cerebral white-matter lesions in women with hypertension, according to European researchers.

"Our study result," lead investigator Dr. Xinxin Guo told Reuters Health, "indicates the importance of treating high diastolic blood pressure that may reduce the risk of cerebral white-matter lesions."

In the July issue of Hypertension, Dr. Guo of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and colleagues report on their analysis of data from 539 women who belong to a cohort followed since 1968. The women underwent CT brain scans in 1992 and/or 2000. Blood pressure information had been regularly recorded throughout follow-up.

The team found that the presence and severity of white-matter lesions on CT scans were associated with higher diastolic blood pressure and mean arterial pressure at each examination, but not with systolic blood pressure and pulse pressure.

From 1968 to 1992, adjusted odds ratios for white-matter lesions ranged from 1.3 to 1.4 per each 10 mm Hg increase in diastolic pressure.

White-matter lesions were also linked with 24-year increases in diastolic pressure of more than 10 mg Hg increase and in systolic pressure of more than 40 mm Hg, the researchers report.

"Our findings," the researchers observe, "suggest that increased peripheral resistance may increase the occurrence of white-matter lesions."

Lowering high diastolic blood pressure and preventing large increases in systolic and diastolic blood pressures, they conclude, may have a protective effect.

By David Douglas

Hypertension 2009;54:57-62.

Last Updated: 2009-08-21 14:34:10 -0400 (Reuters Health)

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