CLL Support Association
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CLL and Hypertension

Has anyone seen anything relating CLL to Hypertension/High Blood Pressure.

I was diagnosed with Hypertension about a month before being diagnosed with CLL. I have this idea bumping around in my brain that my increased blood pressure may have been influenced by my CLL. Doctors have me on three different tablets for Hypertension but part way through my Chemo my blood pressure readings had definitely dropped.

One of my doctors (I go to a group practice) said it typically takes six weeks for the tablets to have an effect, so I find difficulty in correlating the numbers.

I'm interested in any opinions/experience,


8 Replies

There used to be some ideas that high white blood counts can cause circulation problems and it infact can in CML for example.

But this is not considered to be the case in CLL, and there is no link to hypertension in the literature... other than secondary kidney problems, gastric problems etc.

Dr. Hamblin wrote about this..




Professor Hamblin also wrote a little about the increased incidence of DVT identified in CLL and what may be the reason for these findings. (I posted this as you mentioned ankle swelling on plane flights, in your travel blog) consider wearing stockings on long haul flights.

Terry Hamblin, Leukostasis and thrombosis in CLL


My own CLL was diagnosed following identification of hypertension and investigation into VTE issues. As Chris says there is no link in the literature.

All I know is that CLL has made me more aware of other pressing health concerns and enabled me to address these..


Yes Rob-I have had hypertension on and off for a number of years and an extra heart beat every so often, both of which I associate with CLL. However,since having Chemo 18 months ago I've had few problems. Medics, of course, as sceptical about the link!!


Re possible link BP/CLL: It was a change of blood-pressure pills following unexplained increase in BP that led to ankle swelling ,then skin problems giving rise to suspicion of allergy to new pills, and thus the discovery of the CLL. My main problem is not CLL which is in stage 1, but excessive eosinophils which have to be killed off with cortico-steroids. I've never seen eosino's mentioned in CLLSA recently, any input wold be welcome. I admire contributors' attitude to air travel and say thanks for advice offered.


naeworries, my eosinophils are usually around 0.05, but did shoot up to 0.6 for over 2 months (i.e. just above the normal range) during one bad hayfever season. Other than that, I haven't seen any change out of the ordinary at all in the four years during which I've had regular blood tests every one to two months.

Brian Koffman said in a post to another CLL support group that:

"Parasites and allergies are common causes, but they can also be nothing and not uncommon in CLL for no good reason.

They often just go away, leaving us wondering why they shot up. I would start by just monitoring. Mine shot way up to 3 x normal, then want away over several weeks for no reason.

If not, or if there are symptoms or risks ( travel to a a high risk area for parasites), then get a workup for parasites and allergy."

Susan J. Leclair, Ph.D., CLS (NCA) also commented elsewhere that:

"Eosinophils are the cells responsive for all allergic reactions. This can range from mild watery eyes to severe life threatening situations. They will also be increased when someone is taking certain medications.

A serious eosinophil disorder requires at least 6 months of increased eosinophils of at least more than 1.5x10^9/L."



I have had hypertension for a number of years before being diagnosed with CLL six months ago. Prior to being diagnosed with CLL my hypertension was under control.

In the run up to being diagnosed with CLL my medication for hypertension was changed by my GP. He felt that the medication was increasing my white cell count. Alas he was wrong I had CLL. Whilst I am now on `watch and wait` my hypertension is now uncontrolled and I am awaiting new medication which will follow a 24 hour assessment of my blood pressure wearing a recording device.

Hypertension medication can impact on white cell levels in the blood according to my GP.

I hope this helps?


I appreciate the responses, this is like most other areas complex with results varying from person to person.

It is interesting, in a way, that GPs are focussing on the Blood Pressure and initially cholestoerol levels and seem to be less aware/interested/concerned (not sure of right word here) about the CLL, I guess because of my being treated by a consultant on this.

I seem to control my BP level reasonably in the 130s over 80s (I give a range there) and pulse in normal range with three hypertension related drugs.



I am a new member to this and may have some input for you.I have been taking BP pills for twenty years and at the moment my levels are 130/60. My GP says that lower is better than higher and if I don't feel faint keep taking the pills. I have had CLL for six years with no treatment but the only problem is my count keeps rising although sometimes it goes backwards but I may need treatment soon. I have asked my consultant about my BP pills and many other possible contributing factors but he says that he knows of nothing that effects the level and suggests I just live normally with everything in moderation!!

Watch and wait is difficult when your life is at stake as we all feel that we should be leaving no stone unturned while we have the chance. I have tried everything to stop the level rising but it just seems to do it's own thing so in the absence of any knowledge what more can we do. So I would suggest keep taking the BP pills or else you could have another problem.


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