Magazine article Drug Topics

Chronobiology and Hypertension

Magazine article Drug Topics

Chronobiology and Hypertension

Article excerpt

Dismissing most blood pressure testing as "snap-shots of a roller coaster " Franz Halberg, M.D., director of the Chronobiology Laboratories at the University of Minnesota, said that research has shown a 50% rate of false diagnosis of hypertension-positive or negative--because of dependency on the results of just one or two blood pressure tests. Averages, he said, are apt to be as meaningful as "adding my income and Ross Perot's and dividing to find average income."

Acknowledged as the "father" of chronobiology and originator of the name for this science, Halberg advocates building a blood pressure history for everyone, starting with 48-hour around-the-clock recordings of newborns. At age 9, children can be instructed to take their own blood pressure readings (as field testing in this country and Italy have demonstrated). Workplace self-monitoring of blood pressure would add to the lifetime record and be potentially life-, health-, and cost-saving.

Halberg pointed out that there are rhythms--circadian (20-to-24 hour)l ultradian (20-hour), and infradian (28-hour); seasonal, hormonal, menstrual--that affect heart rate, blood pressure, and urine and blood content. …

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