Spontaneous Nosebleeds Tied to Excessive Blood Stress

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Spontaneous Nosebleeds Tied to High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can increase your risk of nosebleeds, reports a new study.

Korean researchers examined 35,749 people with an average age of 52 years with high blood pressure and compared them to a control group of 35,749 people with normal blood pressure. They tracked spontaneous nosebleeds in each group – that is, nosebleeds that were not caused by trauma, surgery, or illness – over a period of 14 years.

Patients with high blood pressure were 47 percent more likely to have nosebleeds and their bleeding was more serious: they were 2.7 times more likely to be treated in an emergency room and more than four times more likely to need a nasal wrap which inserted a device into the nasal passage and then inflated to expand and stop the bleeding.

The reason for the association is unknown, but the authors suggest that chronic damage to blood vessels from high blood pressure can lead to bleeding. The study was published in JAMA Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery.

A co-author, Dr. Jae Ho Chung, professor of ear, nose and throat medicine at Hanyang University in Seoul, pointed out that only people with no other bleeding risk participated in the study. For hypertensive people with other risks – for example, those taking blood thinners or low-dose aspirin – the risk is likely to be even higher. For these people, he said: "It would be particularly advisable to be aware of the risk of nosebleeds."

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