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Headache and hypertension: refuting the myth
  1. D Friedman
  1. Department of Neurology, University Hospital, 750 E Adams Street, Syracuse, New York 13210, USA
  1. Correspondence to: 
 Dr D Friedman; 

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Why does the hypertension headache myth persist?

Patients often tell their physicians, “I know when my blood pressure is high because I get a headache”. The relation of headache to hypertension has been debated in the medical literature for almost a century. Janeway observed it in a large clinical study of hypertensive patients (systolic blood pressure > 160 mm Hg) in 1913.1 He described the “typical” hypertensive headache as non-migrainous, present upon awakening and resolving during the morning. However, his illustrative case histories are somewhat misleading because they all had malignant hypertension and systolic pressures …

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