Neurological Sciences

, Volume 38, Supplement 1, pp 67–72 | Cite as

Headache and arterial hypertension

  • Cinzia FinocchiEmail author
  • Davide Sassos


Elevated blood pressure (BP) and headache have long been linked in the medical literature. Headache associated with arterial hypertension is a main concern in emergency department. It is believed that headache may be a symptom attributed to arterial hypertension only if the BP values are very high or rise quickly. Many studies support the hypothesis that migraine patients have an increased risk of developing hypertension, while hypertensive subjects do not seem to have an increased risk of migraine or other types of headache. Conversely many studies found an inverse association. Hypertension has been identified as one of the most important factors of chronic transformation of episodic migraine and increases the cerebrovascular and cardiovascular risk of migraine patients. Migraine and arterial hypertension may share common mechanisms like endothelial dysfunction, deficiency of autonomic cardiovascular regulation and renin angiotensin system involvement. Preventive effects of migraine were described by several antihypertensive agents traditionally beta-blockers, and more recently angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers.


Arterial hypertension Headache Migraine Vascular risk factors Blood pressure 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors certify that there is no actual or potential conflict of interest in relation to this article.

Ethical standards

This article does not contain any study with human subjects performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clinica Neurologica IRCCS Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria San MartinoGenoaItaly

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