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Understanding Spontaneous Blood Pressure Reduction in Severe Hypertension

March 11, 2024
by Osman Moneer

Discoveries & Impact (March 2024)

Severe hypertension (sHTN), affecting about 10% of hospitalized patients, lacks clear treatment guidelines, potentially leading to unnecessary antihypertensive medication use and adverse outcomes. A recent study from researchers and physicians at Yale aimed to identify factors associated with spontaneous blood pressure (BP) reduction, which could inform future management decisions and prevent harm from aggressive BP treatment.

The team, led by Kanika Garg, BS, and Mary Kate Staunton, BS, from the Clinical and Translational Research Acceleratory and supervised by Lama Ghazi, MD, PhD, analyzed data from hospitalized adults between 2016 and 2020 who developed sHTN after hospital admission. They defined spontaneous BP reduction as achieving a systolic BP < 160 mmHg and a diastolic BP < 100 mmHg within 3 hours of severe BP elevation (systolic BP > 180 mmHg or diastolic BP > 110 mmHg) without any antihypertensive medications. Their findings showed that nearly half (44.2%) of the 12,825 patients experienced spontaneous BP reduction.

Although the team adjusted for several factors, they found that traditional clinical and demographic risk factors were not strong predictors of spontaneous BP reduction, leading them to conclude that more research is needed to help guide the treatment of sHTN.

To learn more, read the article: “Correlates of Spontaneous Blood Pressure Reduction Following Severe Inpatient Hypertension Development.”

Garg K, Staunton MK, Peixoto AJ, Wilson FP, Ghazi L. Correlates of Spontaneous Blood Pressure Reduction Following Severe Inpatient Hypertension Development. Am J Hypertens. Published online November 21, 2023. doi:10.1093/ajh/hpad112

Submitted by Julie Parry on March 11, 2024