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Brain Tumours Linked To High Blood Pressure

December 21, 2011
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People with high blood pressure may be more likely to develop brain tumours, new research has suggested.

Researchers analysed data for almost 580,000 people and said the 20% with the highest blood pressure levels were more than twice as likely to later be diagnosed with some types of brain tumours compared to the 20% with the lowest readings.

Health experts insisted the association was statistical and did not prove any link between the two conditions.

The study published in the Journal of Hypertension saw participants, who were from Sweden, Austria and Norway, followed for around 10 years.

Over that period, 1,312 brain tumours were diagnosed. Participants’ average age at the start of the study was 41 and the typical age of diagnosis was 56 for a brain tumour.

Around 12m people in the UK are diagnosed with high blood pressure while another 5.7m are thought to have the condition but are unaware of it. Almost 9,000 cases of brain tumour are diagnosed in the country every year.

The most common tumours diagnosed during the study were meningioma and glioma – the types it linked to high blood pressure – which each account for around one third of all brain tumours.

Those behind the study said more research was needed before high blood pressure could be said with confidence to increase the risk of brain tumours.

Michael Edlinger, epidemiologist at the medical statistics department in Innsbruck, Austria, was lead researcher of the study.

“The large number of people in this study and the fact that more than 1,000 of them developed brain tumours mean it is unlikely that the findings are down to chance,” he said.

“But this does not mean we can be confident that it is the high blood pressure that has caused the increase in brain tumour risk, as there are some limitations to our study.

“For example, we did not have data on whether the participants were using any medication, such as treatment for high blood pressure, which could have affected the results.”

Amy Thompson, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation , said: “This is purely a statistical association which does not show any biological link between high blood pressure and brain tumours.

“It would therefore be wrong to conclude that high blood pressure causes brain tumours.

“On the other hand, we do know that high blood pressure is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke, and can lead to a number of other health problems.”

Article source: http://uk.news.yahoo.com/brain-tumours-linked-high-blood-pressure-022240958.html

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