High blood pressure may increase your risk for nosebleeds, a new study reports.
Korean researchers studied 35,749 people, average age 52, with hypertension, and matched them to a control group of 35,749 with normal blood pressure. They tracked spontaneous nosebleeds in each group — that is, nosebleeds not caused by trauma, surgery or disease — over a period of 14 years.
Patients with high blood pressure had a 47 percent increased risk for nosebleed, and their bleeding was more severe: They were 2.7 times as likely to be treated in an emergency room, and more than four times as likely to require nasal packing, a procedure in which a device is inserted into the nasal passage and then inflated to expand and stanch the bleeding.
The reason for the association is not known, but the authors suggest that chronic damage to the blood vessels caused by hypertension may lead to bleeding. The study was published in JAMA Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery.
A co-author, Dr. Jae Ho Chung, a professor of otolaryngology at Hanyang University in Seoul, pointed out that the study included only people with no other bleeding risks. For hypertensive people with other risks — those who take blood thinners or low dose aspirin, for example — the risk is probably even higher. For those people, he said, “It would be especially recommended to be aware of the risk of nosebleeds.”