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Blood Pressure Heart

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Blood pressure fluctuates from minute to minute and normally shows a circadian rhythm over a 24-hour period, with highest readings in the early morning and evenings and lowest readings at night. Loss of the normal fall in blood pressure at night is associated with a greater future risk of cardiovascular disease and there is evidence that night-time blood pressure is a stronger predictor of cardiovascular events than day-time blood pressure. Blood pressure varies over longer time periods (months to years) and this variability predicts adverse outcomes. Blood pressure also changes in response to temperature, noise, emotional stress, consumption of food or liquid, dietary factors, physical activity, changes in posture, such as standing-up, drugs, and disease. The variability in blood pressure and the better predictive value of ambulatory blood pressure measurements has led to some authorities, such as The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in UK, to advocate the use of ambulatory blood pressure as the preferred method for diagnosis of hypertension.

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