Japanese researchers have recently found that one of the symptoms of high blood pressure could be constant visit to the toilet at night to urinate, which is called nocturia.
Nocturia is a condition in which people wake up during the night because they need to urinate. Common causes of frequent trips to the toilet at night include high fluid intake, sleep disorders, and bladder obstruction.
Hypertension is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Africa, and Nigeria, the most populous country in the continent, hugely contributes to this burden. A study conducted by Nigerian scientists, on the prevalence of hypertension in Nigeria, estimated about 20.8 million cases of hypertension in Nigeria among people aged at least 20 years in 2010.
The research team explained the possible causes of Nocturia, which they described as a sign of other health conditions, including bladder prolapse, a tumor of the bladder or prostate and other disorders affecting sphincter control. Pregnant women and people with heart or liver failure and diabetes may also experience nocturia.
To arrive at their findings, the team enrolled 3,749 residents of the town of Watari who had undergone an annual health check in 2017 and gathered information about their blood pressure levels and nocturia using questionnaires.
The data showed that getting up in the night to urinate was associated with a 40 percent greater chance of having high blood pressure, and the risk of hypertension rose significantly as the number of nocturia events per night increased.
According to the report of the findings published on MedicalnewsToday, Dr Konno, the lead author said that the results do not prove a causal relationship between nocturia and hypertension, and they may not apply to people who live outside Japan. “The relationship may be influenced by various factors including lifestyle, salt intake, ethnicity, and genetic background,” the researcher explains.
“Our study indicates that if you need to urinate in the night called nocturia, you may have elevated blood pressure and/or excess fluid in your body,” says study author Dr. Satoshi Konno, of the Division of Hypertension at the Tohoku Rosai Hospital in Sendai, Japan.
Previous research showed that excessive daily salt intake and hypertension have a negative impact on nocturia. In Japan, people generally consume significantly more salt than those in Western countries, and for this reason, the Japanese population may be at higher risk of developing high blood pressure.
Though people in other countries tend to have different eating habits when it comes to salt, the results of these studies suggested that appropriate control of salt intake and blood pressure might be important for the treatment of nocturia, regardless of nationality.
Dr Mutsuo Harada adds that early detection and management of hypertension are crucial to prevent heart disease. It is important to research and understand the cause of nocturia in patients because this disorder can not only result from urinary organ problems — it may also be caused by diseases such as hypertension.
Professor and president of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Barbara Casadei notes: “More than 1 billion people have high blood pressure, worldwide. High blood pressure is the leading global cause of premature death, accounting for almost 10 million deaths in 2015. ESC guidelines recommend medication to reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease.”
“A healthy lifestyle is also advised, including salt restriction, alcohol moderation, healthy eating, regular exercise, weight control, and smoking cessation,” she adds.