High Blood Pressure and Pain
Dr. Christopher France, writing in the November issue of Psychophysiology, says hypoalgesia may be a risk marker for potential high blood pressure. He says it also may make it more difficult for physicians to diagnose heart problems before a cardiac event such as a heart attack.
The research data comes from the Framingham Heart Study and shows men and women with hypertension are almost twice as likely to suffer an unrecognized heart attack, possibly because chest pain is suppressed. Simply, the pain that is supposed to come when the blood to the heart is restricted isn't there.
France says understanding the biological role of hypoalgesia can lead to new understandings of how high blood pressure works. He says it also could be a good tool to use in identifying patients at higher risk for heart problems, especially if there is a family history of it.
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