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Is Essential Thrombocythemia Related to High Blood Pressure?

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Published on November 28, 2016

In this Ask the Expert segment, Dr. Ruben Mesa from Mayo Clinic responds to a Patient Power community member's question about the connection between hypertension and essential thrombocythemia (ET). Dr. Mesa provides advice on how closely blood pressure should be monitored for someone with ET.

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Transcript | Is Essential Thrombocythemia Related to High Blood Pressure?

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you. 

Andrew Schorr:

Dr. Mesa, here's a question we got from a Patient Power member.  I hope I get this name right, it's A-O-I-F-E.  I have no idea how to pronounce it, but from Dublin, Ireland, probably an Irish name.  Is hypertension related to essential thrombocythemia, and how closely should blood pressure be monitored in someone with ET? 

Dr. Mesa:

It's a good question.  There's not a direct link that we are aware of.  However, in patients with MPNs, particularly if they're not well controlled, it certainly can have an impact aggravating the blood pressure.  It's probably more common in polycythemia vera, with the expanded erythrocytosis and the increase in plasma volume, in particular in those individuals that have not been phlebotomized or had their counts reduced. 

Now, it is important, and that is we look at in particular ET and p. vera, they have a risk of contributing to cardiovascular events, heart attack, stroke, things of this nature.  We know that the other risk factors certainly can combine with an MPN to increase that risk further.  So if you're an MPN patient but that's in exceptional health, your blood pressure is great, your cholesterol is well controlled, you know, you're having a lot of physical activity and exercise, you decrease your risk of having one of these blood clots, heart attack or stroke.  

Conversely, if you have high blood pressure, uncontrolled cholesterol, things of that nature, the two can combine.  So certainly adequately controlling the blood pressure is important. 

Andrew Schorr:

Dr. Mesa, thanks for taking that question as you always do with our members.  And if you have a question, just send it to [email protected]  I'm Andrew Schorr. 

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you. 

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