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Hypertension Blog

'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

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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

ADHD Drugs May Up Risk of Heart Problems in Kids, Study Finds

Posted 3 Jul 2014 by

THURSDAY, July 3, 2014 – Whether drugs used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder boost the risk of heart conditions in children remains a subject of concern. Now, research from Denmark suggests medications such as Ritalin and Concerta make rare cardiac problems twice as likely, although still uncommon. "The risk of adverse cardiac effects of ADHD medication is real and should not be forgotten," said study lead author Dr. Soren Dalsgaard, an associate professor at Aarhus University. However, doctors and parents should not be alarmed and take kids off stimulant medication if they have benefits from it and no cardiac symptoms, he said. "But we should continue to monitor cardiovascular status," he added. The findings aren't definitive because they don't prove cause-and-effect and they seem to conflict with some previous research that looked at fewer heart conditions over ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Hypertension, Concerta, Ritalin, Methylphenidate, Methylin, Daytrana, Metadate CD, Ritalin LA, Methylin ER, Ritalin-SR, Quillivant XR, Metadate ER

High Blood Pressure May Up Psoriasis Risk for Women

Posted 3 Jul 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, July 2, 2014 – Women with high blood pressure may have an increased risk of developing the skin disease psoriasis, new research suggests. Taking blood pressure medications called beta-blockers also raises the risk for psoriasis, according to the study that followed nearly 78,000 women for more than a decade. Psoriasis, which affects about 3 percent of the U.S. population, is a chronic immune system disorder that causes red, raised patches on the skin. Previous research has linked psoriasis with diabetes, heart disease and depression. "We basically found those who have high blood pressure of a certain duration – more than six years in this study – have an increased risk of developing psoriasis," said study researcher Dr. Abrar Qureshi, professor of dermatology at the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University in Providence, R.I. After six years, their risk for ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Psoriasis

Childhood Malnutrition Linked to High Blood Pressure Later in Life: Study

Posted 30 Jun 2014 by

MONDAY, June 30, 2014 – Young children who are severely malnourished may be at greater risk for having high blood pressure later in life, new research suggests. Poor nutrition starting before birth to the age of 5 may affect the development of the heart, the study authors reported. "If nutritional needs are not met during this time, when structures of the body are highly susceptible to potentially irreversible change, it could have long-term consequences on heart anatomy and blood flow later in life," study senior author Terrence Forrester, UWI Solutions for Developing Countries at the University of the West Indies, Jamaica, said in an American Heart Association news release. "We are concerned that millions of people globally who suffer malnutrition before or after birth are at increased risk of hypertension in later life," Forrester said. However, it's important to note that while ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension

Low Vitamin D Levels Linked to High Blood Pressure

Posted 28 Jun 2014 by

THURSDAY, June 26, 2014 – Low levels of vitamin D may be a cause of high blood pressure, according to a new study. Previous research has suggested a strong link between low levels of vitamin D and high blood pressure, but a direct cause-and-effect relationship has not been shown. Vitamin D is nicknamed the sunshine vitamin because the body produces vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. People also get vitamin D through foods such as eggs, milk, yogurt, tuna, salmon, cereal and orange juice. In the new study, researchers analyzed genetic data from more than 146,500 people of European descent in Europe and North America. For each 10 percent increase in vitamin D levels, there was an 8 percent decrease in the risk of developing high blood pressure (or "hypertension"). The study was published online June 25 in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. "In view of the costs and side effects ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Vitamin D Deficiency, Vitamin D Insufficiency

Blood Pressure Kiosks May Not Always Give Accurate Readings

Posted 24 Jun 2014 by

TUESDAY, June 24, 2014 – If you decide to quickly check your blood pressure while you're out shopping this summer, know that your reading might not be accurate if the cuff is too small or too large for your arm, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns. These blood-pressure kiosks are available in many public places, such as pharmacies, grocery and retail stores, gyms, airports and hair salons. While they're convenient, they may not be right for you. "They are easily accessible and easy to use. But it's misleading to think that the devices are appropriate for everybody. They are not one-size-fits-all," Luke Herbertson, a biomedical engineer at the FDA, said in an agency news release. A too-small cuff will give you a higher blood pressure reading, while a too-large cuff may give you an inaccurate low blood pressure result, or may not work at all, according to the news release. Having ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension

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