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Hypertension Blog

Tight Blood Sugar Control Doesn't Prevent Strokes in Diabetics: Study

Posted 11 days ago by

FRIDAY, Sept. 19, 2014 – A six-year study of people with type 2 diabetes found that intensively lowering blood pressure had a long-lasting effect in preventing heart attacks, strokes and deaths. But intensive blood sugar control didn't produce those benefits, the researchers found. For the study, investigators followed nearly 8,500 participants of a completed diabetes trial. Some participants had had their blood pressure and blood sugar levels strictly controlled, while others had received standard care. The researchers wanted to assess the long-term effects of the intensive control, which ended when the trial concluded. "One of the points of doing this study was to see if lowering blood sugar for five years might, down the track, translate into protection against stroke and heart attack – it didn't," said researcher Dr. Bruce Neal, a professor of medicine at the University of Sydney ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Type 2, Hypertension, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis

Healthy Lifestyle Changes Linked to Reduced Risk for Dementia

Posted 13 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 17, 2014 – Managing diabetes, quitting smoking, controlling high blood pressure, exercising and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the risk for dementia – even late in life, according to new research. The World Alzheimer Report 2014, commissioned by Alzheimer's Disease International, revealed that diabetes can increase the risk of dementia by 50 percent. The study noted that obesity and an inactive lifestyle are key risk factors for diabetes as well as high blood pressure. The researchers suggested that dementia should be included in national public health prevention and detection programs along with other major non-communicable diseases, such as cancer and heart disease. They pointed out that it's never too late in life to make healthy lifestyle changes. "While age and genetics are part of the disease's risk factors, not smoking, eating more healthily, getting ... Read more

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

Blood Pressure Seems to Stay Lower Longer in Fitter Men

Posted 15 days ago by

MONDAY, Sept. 15, 2014 – Aerobic exercise leading to strong heart fitness can delay a man's onset of age-related high blood pressure by nearly a decade, a new study suggests. Blood pressure naturally increases as people grow older and their arteries become stiffer with age. But men with strong cardio-fitness don't start drifting toward high blood pressure until their mid-50s. On the other hand, largely sedentary men usually experience the early signs of high blood pressure in their mid-40s, researchers report in the Sept. 15 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. "A higher level of fitness can significantly delay this natural increase of blood pressure with age," said study co-author Dr. Xuemei Sui, an assistant professor in the department of exercise science at the University of South Carolina's Arnold School of Public Health. "For those with a high level of ... Read more

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

Even a Little Excess Weight Can Boost Blood Pressure: Study

Posted 10 Sep 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 10, 2014 – A few extra pounds might do more than test the strength of that belt around your waist, a small study suggests: You could also boost your blood pressure slightly, even if you gain just 5 percent of your body weight. For the study, researchers told 16 people to consume an extra 400 to 1,000 calories a day for eight weeks. Their blood pressure levels rose a bit on average, although not to an unhealthy range. But people who put on weight in the abdomen appeared to be at special risk of seeing their blood pressure rise, said study lead author Naima Covassin, a research fellow with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. While it's not clear how the changes could affect cardiovascular health, Covassin noted that "this is the kind of weight gain that occurs over the holiday season, or on a cruise, or in college freshman year." Researchers and physicians already know ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Obesity, Hypertension

ER Visits Up for High Blood Pressure

Posted 9 Sep 2014 by

TUESDAY, Sept. 9, 2014 – Emergency room visits for high blood pressure jumped 25 percent in the United States in recent years, according to a new study. The finding – based on nearly 4 million U.S. emergency room visits from 2006 to 2011 – points to a need for people to better control their blood pressure by going to their primary care doctor, said Dr. Sourabh Aggarwal, the study's lead researcher. "That's quite a big increase in the number of visits to the ER," said Aggarwal, chief resident in internal medicine at the Western Michigan University School of Medicine in Kalamazoo. However, while ER visits jumped, hospital admissions for high blood pressure, or hypertension, fell by 15 percent, the researchers said. And deaths among those admitted to the hospital because of blood pressure spikes fell 36 percent, the investigators found. Aggarwal can't say what lies behind the findings, ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension

'Spare Tire' May Be Especially Bad for Your Blood Pressure

Posted 2 Sep 2014 by

TUESDAY, Sept. 2, 2014 – When it comes to excess pounds and blood pressure, all fat may not be created equal, a new study finds. The research found that belly fat – the proverbial "spare tire" – boosts a person's odds for high blood pressure more than overall body fat. It's well known that obesity raises the risk of high blood pressure. But it wasn't clear how the location of fat in the body affects that risk, according to researchers at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. Reporting Sept. 1 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the researchers tracked more than 900 people for an average of seven years. The study participants were checked for fat located deep in the abdomen between the organs (so-called "visceral fat"), fat located all over the body, and fat located on the lower body. "Generally speaking, visceral fat stores correlate with the ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Obesity, Hypertension

Everest Study Finds High Altitude Affects Blood Pressure

Posted 27 Aug 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 27, 2014 – In a new study done from the heights of Mount Everest, Italian researchers found that your blood pressure steadily increases if you ascend to great heights. They also found that a drug widely used to treat high blood pressure was ineffective once climbers reached above a certain altitude. The findings, reported online Aug. 27 in the European Heart Journal, could impact not just high-altitude trekkers but those at sea level who have sleep apnea, in which a blocked airway temporarily halts their breathing, as well as others with some chronic diseases. The researchers joined an expedition of 47 volunteers who traveled to the Mount Everest base camp, which is at an altitude of 5,400 meters, or approximately 17,700 feet. The volunteers wore blood pressure monitors that took round-the-clock readings as they climbed up to the base camp. The participants were also ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension

Severe Sleep Apnea May Boost Odds for Stubborn High Blood Pressure

Posted 15 Aug 2014 by

FRIDAY, Aug. 15, 2014 – Severe sleep apnea may raise the risk of high blood pressure that's resistant to drug treatment, a new study finds. Researchers tracked outcomes for patients with moderate or severe sleep apnea, as well as heart disease or heart disease risk factors. All of the patients had been prescribed at least three high blood pressure medications in the past. The Cleveland Clinic team reports that about 58 percent of the patients with severe sleep apnea had treatment-resistant high blood pressure, compared to just under 29 percent of those with moderate sleep apnea. The study couldn't prove cause-and-effect, but the findings "suggest that severe obstructive sleep apnea contributes to poor blood pressure control despite aggressive medication use," study lead author Dr. Harneet Walia said in a journal news release. "Poor blood pressure control in patients taking multiple ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Sleep Apnea

Are We Overdoing Salt Restrictions?

Posted 13 Aug 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 13, 2014 – It's long been known that eating too much salt will raise your blood pressure, but a comprehensive global study now says that too little salt in your diet also can harm your heart health. There appears to be a "sweet spot" for daily sodium intake between 3 grams and 6 grams – equal to 7.5 grams to 15 grams of salt – associated with a lower risk of death and heart disease than either more or less, researchers report. "We found that too high levels of sodium are harmful, but also eating a low amount of sodium is harmful," said study co-author Andrew Mente, an assistant professor of clinical epidemiology and biostatistics at McMaster University in Ontario. "Having a moderate level of intake is associated with the least amount of harm." The findings run counter to current guidelines for heart disease prevention, which recommend a maximum sodium intake of 1.5 ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension

High Blood Pressure in Middle Age, Weaker Brain Later?

Posted 4 Aug 2014 by

MONDAY, Aug 4, 2014 – Let your blood pressure get too high in midlife, and you might pay the price in mental decline later on, a new study suggests. The study of almost 14,000 people found that high blood pressure in those aged 48 to 67 was tied to a late-life drop in mental ability. Over 20 years, people with high blood pressure in midlife experienced a modest but significant 6.5 percent decline in scores on tests of mental function, compared with people with normal blood pressure. "High blood pressure might be an important risk factor for dementia, since mental decline is a known risk factor," said lead researcher Dr. Rebecca Gottesman, an associate professor of neurology and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. However, she stressed that because "we know how to treat high blood pressure," bringing it under control might also cut a person's risk ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension

Barbershops Join Fight Against High Blood Pressure in Black Men

Posted 1 Aug 2014 by

FRIDAY, Aug. 1, 2014 – Across the country, barbershops serve as a time-honored destination for a good cut and conversation. Now experts want to see whether barbershops might also be the spot to tackle an often overlooked health concern: high blood pressure among black men. In a novel partnership, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, together with the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH), enlisted the help of barbershop staff to both discuss and diagnose high blood pressure after they were given training. "Initially we tried to do screenings in churches," explained study lead researcher Vincent Mendy, an epidemiologist in MSDH's Office of Preventive Health. "But only 20 to 30 percent of the people we were reaching were men. So we decided we had to go to where the men are. And barbershops are a good example." In the initial trial that included 14 barbershops, ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension

Sleepless Nights After Divorce May Be Tied to Blood Pressure Rise

Posted 22 Jul 2014 by

TUESDAY, July 22, 2014 – People who suffer long-term sleep problems after a divorce are at risk for a rise in blood pressure, a new study suggests. Previous research has linked divorce to major health problems and even early death, but few studies have examined the reasons for this link. Sleep trouble may be one of the causes, according to the University of Arizona investigators. Their study included 138 people who had been separated or divorced for about 16 weeks. They reported on the quality of their sleep during three lab visits over seven-and-a-half months. Their blood pressure also was checked during those visits. The researchers did not see a link between sleep problems and blood pressure in the participants' early lab visits. However, there was a delayed effect, they said. "We saw changes in resting blood pressure were associated with sleep problems three months earlier. Earlier ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension

Could Probiotics Help Tame High Blood Pressure?

Posted 21 Jul 2014 by

MONDAY, July 21, 2014 – A new study suggests that potential help in lowering high blood pressure might be as close as your refrigerator. The study found that regular intake of probiotics, such as those found in certain yogurts or supplements, may help ease the condition. Researchers looked at data from nine studies that examined links between probiotics and blood pressure. The studies involved a total of 543 adults with either normal or elevated blood pressure. People who consumed probiotics had an average reduction in systolic blood pressure (the top number in a reading) of about 3.6 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and an average reduction in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) of about 2.4 mm Hg, compared to those who did not consume probiotics. Probiotics' benefits seemed greatest among people with elevated blood pressure (higher than 130/85), and probiotics with multiple ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension

Home Blood Pressure Monitoring Likely Saves Money, Study Finds

Posted 15 Jul 2014 by

TUESDAY, July 15, 2014 – Insurance companies should cover home blood pressure-monitoring kits because the devices could bring savings in patient health care costs over the long term, new research indicates. "Home blood pressure monitors should be reimbursed, widely adopted across America and integrated into current clinical practice for diagnosis and treatment of hypertension," lead author Alejandro Arrieta, assistant professor in the department of health policy and management at Florida International University in Miami, said in an American Heart Association news release. "By improving the accuracy of their blood pressure assessment and by monitoring their blood pressures outside the clinic setting, patients help themselves, help their physicians and save money for insurance companies," Arrieta said. "Our study provides evidence that reimbursement makes business sense for an insurance ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension

High Blood Pressure May Protect the Very Old From Dementia

Posted 14 Jul 2014 by

MONDAY, July 14, 2014 – New research suggests high blood pressure may not be all bad. Elevated levels might help to stave off mental decline among the extreme elderly, the study suggests. The finding follows a decade spent tracking high blood pressure and dementia among 625 men and women aged 90 and up. Those with the highest blood pressure levels were the least likely to have dementia, the researchers found. But that doesn't mean older people shouldn't try to control elevated blood pressure, they said. "On the basis of this work we are absolutely not recommending that high blood pressure not be treated among the elderly," said study co-author Maria Corrada, an associate adjunct professor in the department of neurology at the University of California, Irvine. "What we are saying is that from observing a group of very old people we now have some evidence that developing high blood ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Dementia

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