Harvard Health Letter

Could high blood pressure be causing your headache?

The pendulum has swung back and forth on the connection between hypertension and headaches. A study finds they could be related.

Sometimes a headache throbs just as they show in pain-reliever ads. Other times, it feels like your head is going to explode from the pressure within. With symptoms like these, it certainly seems like high blood pressure, and all that extra pounding of blood against vessel walls, could make someone's head hurt.

A cerebral symptom

Dr. Theodore C. Janeway, who went on to become the first full-time professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins, proposed a connection between headaches and high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, way back in 1913. In a famous article in the Archives of Internal Medicine, Dr. Janeway analyzed the 870 patients with high blood pressure whom he and his father had seen over a nine-year period.

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