Waking up with high blood pressure isn’t good for you if you have type 2 diabetes, say researchers in Japan who studied the incidence of micro- and macrovascular complications in 170 people with type 2 diabetes. Participants in the study were treated with medications to lower blood glucose and blood pressure.
Those who had high blood pressure (defined as being equal to or greater than 130/85) upon waking were found to have a significantly higher risk for kidney disease, retinopathy, coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease. The prevalence of kidney disease was “highly associated” with a higher systolic reading (the upper number, indicating the pressure in the arteries when the heart is beating) in the mornings.
The association was found in those with high blood pressure levels obtained in the morning by self-monitoring rather than in those with high blood pressure readings taken in the clinic. These findings indicate that taking blood pressure readings at home over a period of time has value compared to occasional readings taken in a clinical setting.
Researchers conclude that lowering morning blood pressure may prevent vascular complications in people with type 2 diabetes.
—Diabetes Care, December 2002