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Blood pressure may be linked to migraine

  |   Oct. 18, 2010 at 11:29 PM
CHICAGO, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- Low blood pressure may be a risk factor for glaucoma in patients who suffer from migraine, researchers in the Russian Federation say.

Dr. Yury S. Astakhov of Pavlov Medical University in St. Petersburg studied how day- and at night-time blood pressure levels may be related to the development of glaucoma in migraine sufferers.

Astakhov says migraine is a risk factor for open-angle glaucoma -- a disease that can cause blindness due to damage to the optic nerve, but the association is stronger for people with "normal tension" glaucoma in which the pressure within the eye is normal but optic nerve damage occurs.

Astakhov and colleagues compared day- and night-time systolic and diastolic blood pressures in 12 patients who had migraine and glaucoma -- eight with normal tension glaucoma -- against 16 patients with migraine but no glaucoma.

"We conclude that low diastolic blood pressure -- the bottom number in a blood pressure reading, when the heart is resting -- at night is a possible risk factor for glaucoma in patients with migraine," Astakhov says in a statement.

The findings were presented at the American Academy of Ophthalmology -- Middle East-Africa Council of Ophthalmology Joint Meeting in Chicago.

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