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Relationship between epistaxis and hypertension: A cause and effect or coincidence?

INTRODUCTION: Epistaxis is the most common otorhinolaryngological emergency. Whether there is an association or cause and effect relationship between epistaxis and hypertension is a subject of longstanding controversy.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of our study is to evaluate the relationship between epistaxis and hypertension.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study was conducted at Olaya Medical Center (Riyadh) during the period between May 2013 and June 2014. A total of 80 patients were divided into two groups: Group A consisted of 40 patients who presented with epistaxis, and Group B consisted of 40 patients who served as a control group. Twenty-four-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) was performed for all patients. Patients were followed up for a period of three months.

RESULTS: Readings of blood pressure (BP) were similar between the two groups regarding BP at presentation, ABPM, and BP at three months. There was a higher number of attacks in patients with history of hypertension. There was highly significant positive correlation between number of attacks of epistaxis and BP readings. Systolic BP at presentation was higher in patients who needed more complex interventions such as pack, balloon or cautery than those managed by first aid.

CONCLUSION: We found no definite association between epistaxis and hypertension. Epistaxis was not initiated by high BP but was more difficult to control in hypertensive patients.

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