Trips to the bathroom at night could be sign of high blood pressure, study says

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If you’re going to the bathroom in the middle of the night, it could be a sign of high blood pressure, according to a new report.

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Researchers from the Division of Hypertension in Tohoku Rosai Hospital in Japan recently conducted a study to evaluate the association between high blood pressure and nocturia, a condition that causes frequent urinating at night.

To do so, they examined 3,749 people. The scientists measured their blood pressure, and they recorded their bathroom visits using questionnaires submitted by the participants. For the assessment, nocturia was defined as one or more trips to the bathroom per night.

After analyzing the results, they found nocturia was linked to a 40 percent greater chance of hypertension. The more visits to the toilet, the greater the risk of hypertension, they said.

"Our study indicates that if you need to urinate in the night ... you may have elevated blood pressure and/or excess fluid in your body," coauthor Satoshi Konno said in a statement.

The team noted the findings did not “prove a causal relationship between nocturia and hypertension.” However, they listed a variety of factors that could explain the link, including lifestyle, salt intake, ethnicity and genetic background.

The authors also pointed out they only observed Japanese adults, who are more likely to be salt sensitive, “meaning that their blood pressure rises more when salt is consumed,” they wrote. “Taken together, these two factors mean that people in Japan are at greater risk of developing high blood pressure.”

The analysts now hope to continue their studies to better understand the relationship between nocturia and high blood pressure. They also advised those with the condition to ask their doctor to check their blood pressure and salt intake.

Want to learn more about the assessment? Take a look here.

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