The effect of daily UVA phototherapy for 2 weeks on clinic and 24-h blood pressure in individuals with mild hypertension

Richard B. Weller, Iain M. Macintyre, Vanessa Melville, Michael Farrugia, Martin Feelisch, David J. Webb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Latitude and season determine exposure to ultraviolet radiation and correlate with population blood pressure. Evidence for Vitamin D causing this relationship is inconsistent, and temperature changes are only partly responsible for BP variation. In healthy individuals, a single irradiation with 20 J/cm2 UVA mobilises NO from cutaneous stores to the circulation, causes arterial vasodilatation, and elicits a transient fall in BP. We, therefore, tested whether low-dose daily UVA phototherapy might be an effective treatment for mild hypertension. 13 patients with untreated high-normal or stage 1 hypertension (BP 130-159/85-99 mm Hg), confirmed by 24-h ambulatory blood pressure (ABP), were recruited. Using home phototherapy lamps they were either exposed to 5 J/cm2 full body UVA (320–410 nm) radiation each day for 14 days, or sham-irradiated with lamps filtered to exclude wavelengths <500 nm. After a washout period of 3 ± 1 week, the alternate irradiation was delivered. 24-h ABP was measured on day 0 before either irradiation sequence and on day 14. Clinic BP was recorded on day 0, and within 90 min of irradiation on day 14. There was no effect on 24-h ABP following UVA irradiation. Clinic BP shortly after irradiation fell with UVA (−8.0 ± 2.9/−3.8 ± 1.1 mm Hg p = 0.034/0.029) but not sham irradiation (1.1 ± 3.0/0.9 ± 1.5 mm Hg). Once daily low-dose UVA does not control mildly elevated BP although it produces a transient fall shortly after irradiation. More frequent exposure to UVA might be effective. Alternatively, UVB, which photo-releases more NO from skin, could be tried.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Human Hypertension
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Aug 2022

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