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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 379-382

Relationship between epistaxis and hypertension : a study of patients seen in the emergency units of two tertiary health institutions in Nigeria

Department of Medicine, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
S A Isezuo
Department of Medicine, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, Nigeria

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 19320416

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BACKGROUND: Both epistaxis and hypertension are common in the general population. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed at determining the prevalence of hypertension among epistaxics, and the relationship between epistaxis and hypertension. METHODS: Retrospective analysis of 62 adults comprising 31 each of males and females with a mean age of 41.4 +/- 16.6 years (range: 18-90 years) that presented in the emergency units of two tertiary health institutions seen over 11 years was done. Main outcome measure was the prevalence of hypertension amongst epistaxics. Seventy-six age and sex-matched patients with bleeding from sites other than the nostrils with no record of epistaxis were selected by simple random sampling as controls. RESULTS: Peak prevalence of epistaxis occurred during the months of January and March. Compared to the controls, the epistaxics had significantly higher blood pressures: (146.1 +/- 40.7 mmHg versus 123.2 +/- 16.3 mmHg systolic, P=0.001), and (91.3 +/- 24.8 mmHg versus 78.2 +/- 12.8 mmHg diastolic, P=0.001), and higher proportions of patients with previous history of hypertension (32.3% versus 7.9%; p<0.001) and family history of hypertension (12.9% versus 2.6%; p<0.02). The proportion of subjects with blood pressure elevation at presentation that remained sustained was significantly higher among the epistaxics than the nonepistaxics (87.5% versus 47.6%, chi2=8.1, P=0.005). The epistaxics had significantly higher prevalence of hypertension than the non-epistaxics (45.2% versus 13.2%, chi2=17.5, p=0.001). Univariate analysis demonstrated association between epistaxis and hypertension (OR=5.4, 95% CI=2.4-12.5, P=0.001), and between epistaxis and age (OR=0.9, 95% CI=1.3-12.5, P=0.02). On multivariate analysis using logistic regression the association between epistaxis and hypertension persisted, after adjusting for age, sex, season and causes of epistaxis (OR=5.6, 95% CI=1.7-15.6, P=0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings support an association between epistaxis and hypertension in the study population.

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