High blood pressure is a “silent killer” that results in long-term organ damage, cardiovascular disease, and death. Getting blood pressure under control is essential, but it is only part of the solution.
Over the past decade, it has become clear that daily variations in blood-pressure patterns are also tremendously important, especially in older adults.
In healthy people, blood pressure dips somewhat at night, providing at least temporary relief to the pounding damage being done to blood vessels. But in those whose pressure does not fall at night (so-called “non-dippers”), the damage to blood vessels continues around the clock.
As a result, non-dippers have a significantly higher risk of cardiovascular disease and death compared to normal dippers, even when both have the same blood pressure during the day. About 35% of adults with hypertension are “non-dippers,” meaning that they are at constantly elevated risk for bad outcomes.