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Hypertension Blog

Home Blood Pressure Monitors May Occasionally Miss the Mark

Posted 28 Oct 2014 by

TUESDAY, Oct. 28, 2014 – A small new study raises more questions about the accuracy of home blood-pressure monitoring devices. On average, researchers found, the readings were slightly inaccurate in up to 15 percent of patients. The readings were off by more than 10 mm Hg – a potentially significant difference in a blood pressure reading – in about 8 percent of cases. There's no way to know whether the inaccuracies are likely to mislead patients into seeking care when they don't need it or not getting care when it's required. It's also not known if physicians would be able to detect that something is wrong with the readings because they're different from those derived from more accurate machines at the doctor's office. Still, the findings add to previous research suggesting that the in-home devices aren't perfect. "Home blood pressure machines should be tested against a reliable ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension

Binge Drinking May Boost Blood Pressure in Young Men

Posted 21 Oct 2014 by

TUESDAY, Oct. 21, 2014 – Binge drinking among young adult men may lead to increased blood pressure, according to a new study. But binge drinking didn't cause a similar rise in blood pressure for young adult women or for teenagers, according to the study. In fact, when young adult women drank lightly or moderately, their risk of high blood pressure was cut in half, the study found. "This finding parallels studies in older adult men and women," said lead researcher Dr. Sarah Twichell, a clinical fellow in pediatrics at Boston Children's Hospital. In older adult men, she said, the more alcohol they consume, the more their risk of high blood pressure (hypertension) increases. Although this study found a connection between heavy alcohol consumption and an increased risk of high blood pressure in young adults, the study did not prove alcohol was the direct cause of higher blood pressure. For ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Acute Alcohol Intoxication

Regular Doctor Visits Help Control Blood Pressure, Study Says

Posted 20 Oct 2014 by

MONDAY, Oct. 20, 2014 – Regular visits to your doctor can help keep your blood pressure under control, a new study shows. High blood pressure can cause serious health problems such as stroke and heart attack, according to the American Heart Association. Researchers analyzed data from 37,000 American adults who had their blood pressure checked between 1999 and 2012. Those who saw their doctor at least twice a year were 3.2 times more likely to keep their blood pressure under control than those who saw their doctor once a year or less. Even after controlling for factors such as diabetes, smoking and body fat, doctor visits were the strongest predictor of blood pressure control. Having health insurance and being treated for high cholesterol also improved the chances of keeping blood pressure in check, according to the study published Oct. 20 in the journal Circulation. The researchers ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension

Some Lung Patients Buy Cigarettes Along With Meds at Pharmacies: Study

Posted 20 Oct 2014 by

MONDAY, Oct. 20, 2014 – While picking up a prescription for cholesterol-lowering medication, about one in 20 people with conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or high blood pressure will also purchase cigarettes, a new study finds. Six percent of people with asthma or COPD, and about 5 percent of people with high blood pressure or those picking up oral contraceptive bought cigarettes, the researchers found. "While smoking itself can cause many health problems, it can worsen certain conditions and have other effects on medications," said lead researcher Joshua Gagne, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston. For example, smoking can worsen respiratory conditions and can increase blood pressure, the researchers wrote. Smoking can also increase the risk of heart attack and stroke in oral contraceptives users, Gagne said. In ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Asthma, Smoking, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Psoriasis Tied to Raised Risk of Uncontrolled Blood Pressure

Posted 15 Oct 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 15, 2014 – People with more severe cases of psoriasis may be at increased risk of uncontrolled high blood pressure, a large study finds. Researchers looking at over 13,000 adults in the United Kingdom found that those with severe psoriasis were 48 percent more likely to have poorly controlled blood pressure, versus people without the skin condition. The findings, reported online Oct. 15 in the journal JAMA Dermatology, confirm an association between psoriasis and cardiovascular health. But the precise reasons are not clear, and a cause-and-effect link was not proven. "We still don't fully understand why we see a higher prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors in people with psoriasis," said study leader Dr. Junko Takeshita, a clinical instructor of dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. But, Takeshita said, chronic inflammation could be a common ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Psoriasis

Living Near a Highway May Be Bad for Your Blood Pressure

Posted 1 Oct 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 1, 2014 – Living close to a major highway may raise your risk for high blood pressure, a new study suggests. Among more than 5,000 postmenopausal women, those who lived within 109 yards of a busy road had a 22 percent greater risk of developing high blood pressure than women living at least half a mile away, researchers report. "The results of this study highlight the importance of our physical environment on our health and well-being," said lead researcher Gregory Wellenius, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Brown University School of Public Health, in Providence, R.I. Wellenius cautioned that this study does not prove living near a highway causes high blood pressure, but only shows an association between the two. However, since most Americans live in urban areas, understanding the link between where people live and their health is vital, he said. ... Read more

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

Posted 19 Sep 2014 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 17 Sep 2014 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 Sep 2014 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

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