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Hypertension Blog

Heart Groups Issue Updated Blood Pressure Guidelines

Posted 1 day 3 hours ago by

TUESDAY, March 31, 2015 – Three leading groups of heart experts have issued updated guidelines that set blood pressure goals for people with heart disease. Specifically, the guidelines reinforce a target blood pressure of less than 140/90 mm Hg for those at risk for heart attack and stroke. The guidelines also set a goal of 130/80 mm Hg for those with heart disease who have already had a heart attack, stroke or a ministroke, or who have had a narrowing of their leg arteries or an abdominal aortic aneurysm. However, the new guidelines are intended to be more flexible than ones crafted in 2007, said Dr. Clive Rosendorff, chairman of the committee that wrote the updated guidelines. Ultimately, the blood pressure goal any individual patient tries to achieve should be left to the discretion of the doctor and the patient. For example, the lower goal may not be appropriate for older, frail ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Heart Disease, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis, Ischemic Heart Disease, Hypertensive Heart Disease

U.S. Deaths Due to High Blood Pressure Keep Rising: CDC

Posted 6 days ago by

THURSDAY, March 26, 2015 – The overall death rate from high blood pressure in the United States has increased 23 percent since 2000, even as the death rate from all other causes has dropped 21 percent, health officials reported Thursday. That spike was seen in both genders and was most marked among those aged 45 to 64 and those over 85, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "The age-adjusted deaths from high blood pressure went up, while the other causes of death went down," said report author Hsiang-Ching Kung, a statistician with CDC's National Center for Health Statistics. From 2000 through 2013, the death rate from high blood pressure rose just over 58 percent for men aged 45 to 64 and increased almost 37 percent for women aged 45 to 64. Those aged 85 and older were also not spared, with men seeing a 27.5 percent increase in the death ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension

Vitamin D Won't Help Fight High Blood Pressure, Researchers Say

Posted 16 days ago by

MONDAY, March 16, 2015 – Vitamin D may help the body in many ways, but a new data review suggests it won't do much to lower high blood pressure. Vitamin D is nicknamed the "sunshine vitamin," because the body produces the nutrient when skin is exposed to sunlight. People can also get vitamin D through such foods as eggs, milk, yogurt, tuna, salmon, cereal and orange juice. In the new study, a team led by Dr. Miles Witham of the University of Dundee in Scotland reviewed data from 46 clinical trials involving more than 4,500 participants. The researchers also looked at 27 other studies involving almost 3,100 participants. Reporting March 16 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, Witham's group found no sign that boosting vitamin D levels had any effect on either the upper or lower numbers in a blood pressure reading. "The results of this analysis do not support the use of vitamin D as an ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Caltrate 600 with D, Calcium/Vitamin D, Os-Cal 500 with D, Citracal + D, Oysco 500 with D, Citracal Creamy Bites, Calcet, Oyster Shell Calcium, Calcarb with D, Calcium 600 D, Caltrate Colon Health, Oysco D, O-Cal-D, Oyst-Cal-D, Os-Cal 500 + D, Calvite P, Oystercal-D, Os-Cal with D

Folic Acid May Help Ward Off Stroke in People With High Blood Pressure

Posted 17 days ago by

SUNDAY, March 15, 2015 – Folic acid – the same nutrient women take in pregnancy to help ward off birth defects – may also help lower stroke risk in people with high blood pressure, a new Chinese study finds. The findings are intriguing, one U.S. heart health expert said. "If all that is required to prevent the greatest health threat worldwide is a vitamin, then we need to consider checking patients' blood levels of folic acid and supplementing if needed," said Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, a preventive cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. The new study was led by Dr. Yong Huo of Peking University First Hospital in Beijing. Huo's team tracked outcomes for more than 20,000 adults in China with high blood pressure who had not suffered a heart attack or stroke. Participants were randomly assigned to take a daily pill with folic acid and the high blood pressure drug enalapril ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Folic Acid, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Folvite, Folacin-800, FA-8

Physically Tough Jobs May Harm a Man's Fertility: Study

Posted 9 Mar 2015 by

MONDAY, March 9, 2015 – Hard physical work, high blood pressure and taking multiple medications are among the factors that may lower sperm quality and make men less fertile, new research finds. "Nearly 15 percent of American couples do not get pregnant within their first year of trying," and male infertility plays a major role, study senior author Germaine Buck Louis, director of the division of intramural population health research at the U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, said in an agency news release. Her team looked at 456 men in Texas and Michigan, average age 32, who were in committed relationships and had stopped using contraception. Most of the men (77 percent) were white and more than half had never made a woman pregnant. Semen analysis revealed that 13 percent of the men who had physically demanding jobs had low sperm counts, compared to 6 percent ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Sexual Deviations or Disorders

Fit Body at 40 May Keep Brain Bright at 60

Posted 4 Mar 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2015 – People who are fit in their 40s seem to retain more brain volume two decades later and also perform better on decision-making tests, new research suggests. The analysis of more than 1,200 participants who were tracked for more than 20 years showed that those with lower fitness levels at midlife had smaller brain volumes in their 60s – a sign of accelerated brain aging. "I think many people will be surprised to learn that their fitness levels at midlife may impact brain health as they move into older adulthood," said study author Nicole Spartano, a postdoctoral fellow at Boston University School of Medicine. "We were not surprised by these findings because there is growing evidence that many behaviors and risk factors in middle age may have consequences to brain health in later life." Spartano was scheduled to present her research March 4 at an American Heart ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Neurologic Disorder

Does Long-Term Acetaminophen Use Raise Health Risks?

Posted 3 Mar 2015 by

MONDAY, March 2, 2015 – Acetaminophen may not be as safe as previously thought, with larger doses and long-term use linked to increased risk of health problems, a new report contends. Best known in the United States under the brand name Tylenol, acetaminophen is the most widely used painkiller in the world, the study authors said in background notes. It is the World Health Organization's front-line treatment for pain, and is considered safer than nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen, the researchers said. But a small group of studies has raised questions about acetaminophen's safety if used for a long time and at high doses to treat chronic pain, said lead author Dr. Philip Conaghan, a professor with the Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine in England. Heavy use of acetaminophen is associated with kidney disease and bleeding ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Percocet, Vicodin, Bleeding Disorder, Norco, Hypertension, Tylenol, Lortab, Acetaminophen, Ischemic Stroke, Fioricet, Paracetamol, Excedrin, Endocet, Darvocet-N 100, Tylenol PM, NyQuil, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Chronic Kidney Disease, Ultracet

Severely Obese Kids May Face Higher Heart Risks Than Thought

Posted 2 Mar 2015 by

MONDAY, March 2, 2015 – Extremely obese children – such as those at least 100 pounds overweight – are in deeper trouble in terms of heart disease risks than doctors have thought, new research suggests. In the study, about half the children suffered from high blood pressure, and almost 15 percent were diabetic. Seventy-five percent had high levels of a protein that's linked to heart disease. "Severe obesity in the adolescent age group is associated with numerous cardiovascular risk factors that were previously thought to only affect adults," said study author Dr. Marc Michalsky, an associate professor of clinical surgery and pediatrics at Ohio State University College of Medicine, in Columbus. The study didn't examine whether the children – with an average age of 17 – faced a higher risk of premature death. But it did show that the risk factors for heart disease are more severe in ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Obesity, Diabetes, Type 2, Hypertension, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Global Blood Pressure Program Could Save Millions of Lives, Experts Say

Posted 27 Feb 2015 by

FRIDAY, Feb. 27, 2015 – Treating half of people with uncontrolled high blood pressure could prevent 10 million heart attacks and strokes worldwide over 10 years, according to experts. Most people with uncontrolled high blood pressure (or "hypertension") are in low- and middle-income countries and have poor access to diagnosis, care and treatment, said the authors of a commentary published Feb. 26 in The Lancet. In an effort to get those people into treatment and reduce their risk of premature death, a new program called the Global Standardized Hypertension Treatment Project has been launched by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). "Heart disease and stroke are silent killers – on a mass scale. Cardiovascular disease kills more people around the world than all infectious diseases combined," CDC director and commentary ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

More Cases of High Blood Pressure in Less Affluent States

Posted 26 Feb 2015 by

THURSDAY, Feb. 26, 2015 – Your odds of suffering from high blood pressure may rise depending on the state you live in, a new study suggests. Researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that people living in low-income states are more likely to have the ailment, compared to those living in more affluent states. The study "suggests that hypertension risk may be influenced by societal structures, institutions, norms and policies" in various locales, according to the team led by Amy Fan, of the CDC's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Their analysis of 2011 data found that states with an average household income of about $43,000 or less, and states where nearly a fifth or more residents live below the poverty line, have higher rates of high blood pressure than wealthier states. The overall rate of high blood pressure in the ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Hypertensive Heart Disease

Lower Blood Pressure Reduces First Stroke Risk: Study

Posted 11 Feb 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 11, 2015 – Keeping the top number in a blood pressure reading below 140 helps reduce the risk of stroke in healthy people 60 and older, according to a new study. The findings challenge a report published last year in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The 2014 report said that doctors should aim for blood pressure readings of 150/90 mm Hg or lower for patients 60 and older who do not have diabetes or chronic kidney disease. That top number (the "systolic" reading) is 10 points higher than in previous recommendations and triggered controversy in the medical community. High blood pressure "is the most established and modifiable risk factor for stroke, one of the leading causes of death and disability," lead author of the new study, Chuanhui Dong, research associate professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said in an American Stroke ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Ischemic Stroke

Blood Pressure Meds Lower Heart, Stroke Risks in Diabetics: Analysis

Posted 10 Feb 2015 by

TUESDAY, Feb. 10, 2015 – A new analysis shows that people with type 2 diabetes are less likely to suffer heart attacks, strokes or die early when they take blood pressure medications – even if they don't actually have high blood pressure. "Stroke, heart attack and other circulatory diseases are the biggest cause of premature death and disability in people with diabetes," said review author Dr. Kazem Rahimi, deputy director with the George Institute for Global Health at the University of Oxford in England. "Any intervention that safely reduces the risk, even if modestly, will have an important effect." According to the American Diabetes Association, an estimated two-thirds of people with diabetes have high blood pressure or take blood pressure medication. Diabetics tend to have higher blood pressure than other people, Rahimi said, and this can lead to health problems. It's clear that ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Type 2, Lisinopril, Hypertension, Metoprolol, Amlodipine, Atenolol, Ischemic Stroke, Heart Attack, Losartan, Benicar, Diovan, Propranolol, Bystolic, Diltiazem, Norvasc, Verapamil, Carvedilol, Bisoprolol, Coreg

Newly Diagnosed With High Blood Pressure? 3 Factors Affect Prognosis

Posted 5 Feb 2015 by

THURSDAY, Feb. 5, 2015 – Prompt and intense treatment at the first signs of high blood pressure appears key to preventing heart attacks, strokes and early death, according to a new study. Patients with systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading) higher than 150 mm Hg faced increased risks if doctors failed to begin aggressive drug treatment in less than a month and a half, researchers report in the Feb. 5 issue of the BMJ. The risk also increased if doctors didn't perform a blood pressure follow-up within about three months to see how well the medications were performing for a patient, the study said. This study appears to be the first to assess how prompt treatment can affect the short-term prognosis of a newly diagnosed high blood pressure patient, said senior author Dr. Alexander Turchin. He is director of informatics research in the division of ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension

Do Pregnant Women Need High Blood Pressure Treatment?

Posted 29 Jan 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 28, 2015 – When pregnant women have high blood pressure, more-intensive treatment doesn't seem to affect their babies, but it may lower the odds that moms will develop severely high blood pressure. That's the conclusion of a clinical trial reported in the Jan. 29 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Experts were divided, however, on how to interpret the results. For one of the study's authors, the choice is clear. Tighter blood pressure control, aiming to get women's numbers "normalized," is better, said the study's lead researcher, Dr. Laura Magee, of the Child and Family Research Institute and the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. "If less-tight control had no benefit for the baby, then how do you justify the risk of severe (high blood pressure) in the mother?" said Magee. But current international guidelines on managing high blood pressure ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension

Following Blood Pressure Guidelines Saves Lives, Dollars: Study

Posted 29 Jan 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 28, 2015 – If all Americans had their high blood pressure controlled, 56,000 fewer heart attacks and strokes would occur each year. And 13,000 fewer people would die – without increasing health costs, a new study claims. However, 44 percent of U.S. adults with elevated blood pressure do not have it regulated, according to background information in the study. "If we would get blood pressure under control, we would not only improve health, but we would also save money," said researcher Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. "An investment in strategies to lower blood pressure will yield large health benefits as well as economic benefits," she said. Such measures could include more medical appointments for people with elevated blood pressure, home blood pressure monitoring and measures to ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

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