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Hypertension Blog

People With High Blood Pressure Often Have a 'Salt Tooth'

Posted 16 May 2014 by

FRIDAY, May 16, 2014 – High salt intake is a known risk factor for high blood pressure and stroke, so experts say it's concerning that a new study finds people with high blood pressure tend to prefer saltier foods. The findings from this small, preliminary trial do suggest that people with raised blood pressure are often "salt-seeking," said Dr. William White, current president of the American Society of Hypertension (ASH). But the study also offers these people a tasty alternative, "by adding nonsalt spices to food," White said. He added that "it is important to know that alternative spices could reduce sodium [salt] intake and potentially lower blood pressure." The findings are scheduled for presentation Friday in New York City at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hypertension. Experts from ASH note that high blood pressure is commonly referred to as the "silent killer," ... Read more

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Using Internet, Apps to Manage Blood Pressure Has Dangers: Study

Posted 16 May 2014 by

FRIDAY, May 16, 2014 – People who turn to the Internet or iPhone apps for help in controlling their blood pressure may be led astray in some cases, two preliminary studies suggest. In one study, researchers who did a sweep of YouTube videos on high blood pressure found that one-third offered "misleading" information. Most often, that meant the video advocated supplements or other alternative therapies that haven't been scientifically proven to lower blood pressure. "It's quite concerning," said lead researcher Dr. Nilay Kumar, who is scheduled to present the findings Monday at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hypertension in New York City. "The videos that were misleading seemed to get a lot more hits than the videos from authoritative sources," said Kumar, a physician with the Cambridge Health Alliance in Massachusetts. Those authoritative sources included the American ... Read more

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Prescription Drug Use Continues to Climb in U.S.

Posted 14 May 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, May 14, 2014 – Prescription drugs are playing an increasingly larger role in U.S. life, with nearly half of all Americans taking one or more medications. Among adults, the most common prescription drugs are for cardiovascular disease and high cholesterol. Those are two of several key findings in the federal government's annual comprehensive report on the nation's health that was released Wednesday. The relationship between Americans and their prescriptions is complex, according to the report produced by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. On the one hand, more people than ever are receiving effective treatment for chronic conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels and depression. But doctors and pharmacists also find themselves struggling with unintended consequences of drug use, such as prescription narcotics abuse and the ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Heart Disease, High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Atorvastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Pravachol, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Baycol, Pitavastatin

Fitness May Help Older Men With High Blood Pressure Live Longer

Posted 12 May 2014 by

MONDAY, May 12, 2014 – Getting more fit might reduce the risk of death for elderly men with high blood pressure, a new study suggests. Compared to the least-fit men, those who had the highest levels of fitness had nearly half the risk of death. For men in the low-fitness category, the risk of dying was 18 percent lower. And, men in the moderate-fitness category had a 36 percent lower death risk, according to the study. A moderate "level of fitness is achievable by most elderly individuals engaging in a brisk walk of 20 to 40 minutes, most days of the week," lead author Dr. Charles Faselis, a professor of medicine at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., said in a news release from the journal Hypertension. Researchers used a standard treadmill test to assess the fitness of more than 2,100 men, 70 and older, with high blood pressure. They were classified as being least-fit, ... Read more

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Implanted Device Lowers Blood Pressure in Rat Study

Posted 8 May 2014 by

THURSDAY, May 8, 2014 – Scientists have developed a device that, when implanted in rats, lowers their blood pressure by sending electrical signals to the brain. The surgically implanted device reduced blood pressure in the animals by 40 percent and did not cause any major side effects, according to a study published May 9 in the Journal of Neural Engineering. The creators of the device said it could one day offer a new option for people with high blood pressure who do not respond to existing treatments. The device is a cuff that wraps around the vagal nerve, which extends from the brainstem to the thorax and abdomen. The nerve stimulates major blood vessels, the heart and other organs. The device affects only vagal nerve fibers that influence blood pressure, the researchers noted in a news release from the Institute of Physics. In rats, the device lowered blood pressure but did not ... Read more

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Blood Pressure Drugs Help Keep Heart Trouble at Bay: FDA

Posted 6 May 2014 by

TUESDAY, May 6, 2014 – High blood pressure affects about one-third of American adults and raises their risk for heart attack, stroke, heart failure, kidney failure and death, but there are many medications available to lower blood pressure. Exercise, weight loss and reduced salt intake can help some people lower their blood pressure, but most have to take medications to bring their blood pressure under control, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In many cases, patients with high blood pressure require more than one medication to achieve their target blood pressure. Your doctor can determine if you need to be on medication and, if so, which drug(s) may be best for you. There are a number of FDA-approved drugs to treat high blood pressure: Diuretics, or "water pills," help the kidneys remove extra water and salt from your body and decrease blood volume. ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Lisinopril, Hypertension, Amlodipine, Benicar, Diovan, Losartan, Norvasc, Diltiazem, Verapamil, Cozaar, Micardis, Ramipril, Nifedipine, Cardizem, Enalapril, Benazepril, Avapro, Atacand, Valsartan

Helping Doctors Spot Who's Not Taking Their Blood Pressure Meds

Posted 3 Apr 2014 by

THURSDAY, April 3, 2014 – A simple urine test for people with high blood pressure could help doctors determine if patients aren't taking their medication as directed or whether their body isn't respond to treatment, a new study suggests. Using this test, British researchers found one-quarter of more than 200 patients weren't following medication orders. The urine screening could help prevent unnecessary tests and procedures for high blood pressure that appears resistant to treatment but really isn't, the study said. The study was published online April 3 in the journal Heart. "A majority of these patients in any secondary/tertiary care center would routinely undergo many additional tests and procedures in search of the explanation for their apparent unresponsiveness to standard therapy prescribed in primary care," the researchers wrote in a journal news release. The study involved 208 ... Read more

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CDC Salt Guidelines Too Low for Good Health, Study Suggests

Posted 2 Apr 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, April 2, 2014 – Don't toss out your salt shaker just yet: A new analysis from Denmark finds current recommended salt guidelines may be too low. The new research indicates that Americans consume a healthy amount of salt, even though daily averages exceed recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "For most people, there is no reason to change their dietary habits concerning salt, as most people eat what appears to be the safest amount," said review author Dr. Niels Graudal, a senior consultant at Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark. For the study, published April 2 in the American Journal of Hypertension, researchers analyzed 25 prior studies. They found that low levels of salt consumption may be linked with a greater risk of death. The study actually shows that both too much salt and too little are harmful, said Graudal. "Salt intake ... Read more

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New Blood Pressure Guidelines May Take Millions of Americans Off Meds

Posted 30 Mar 2014 by

SATURDAY, March 29, 2014 – About 5.8 million American adults may no longer be prescribed drugs to treat high blood pressure under recently revised guidelines, according to a new study. In February, the Eighth Joint National Committee released controversial guidelines that relaxed blood pressure goals in adults 60 and older from 140/90 to 150/90. The guidelines also eased blood pressure targets for adults with diabetes and kidney disease. In this study, researchers used blood pressure data collected from more than 16,000 Americans between 2005 and 2010 to assess the impact of the revised guidelines. The proportion of adults considered eligible for medication to treat high blood pressure would fall from about 41 percent to 32 percent, the authors concluded in the study published online March 29 in the Journal of the American Medical Association and presented Saturday at the American ... Read more

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Keeping Blood Pressure Low Halves Risk of Second Stroke: Study

Posted 27 Mar 2014 by

THURSDAY, March 27, 2014 – Controlling blood pressure after suffering a stroke can reduce the odds of having another stroke by more than half, a new study finds. But fewer than one-third of patients maintain a consistently low blood pressure more than 75 percent of the time, according to the two-year study. "This study showed that consistency of blood pressure control is an important factor influencing risk of another stroke, heart attack or death from vascular causes," said the study's lead researcher, Dr. Amytis Towfighi. Key lifestyle changes and at-home blood pressure monitoring might help these people avoid another stroke, said Towfighi, an assistant professor of neurology at the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine. Blood pressure varies, Towfighi said, and getting a decent blood pressure reading at an occasional checkup might not be enough for your doctor ... Read more

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

Doctors Really Do Raise Your Blood Pressure

Posted 26 Mar 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, March 26, 2014 – Patients' blood pressure readings are notably higher when they're taken by a doctor than by a nurse, a new study finds. This link between doctors and higher blood pressure readings is known as the "white coat effect," and is believed to be the result of patients being more nervous when examined by a physician. This effect has been noted in a number of previous studies, but this new paper is the first to confirm it, according to the study authors. The investigators analyzed data from more than 1,000 people who had blood pressure readings taken by both doctors and nurses during the same visit. The readings taken by doctors were significantly higher than those taken by nurses, the study authors found. The findings, published in the current issue of the British Journal of General Practice, should lead to changes in the way blood pressure readings are taken, ... Read more

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Diabetes in Middle Age May Cause Memory Problems Later

Posted 19 Mar 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, March 19, 2014 – People who develop type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure in middle age appear more likely to suffer brain damage that can contribute to dementia as they grow older, a new study finds. Diabetes might actually shrink the brain over a long period of time, reducing the size of crucial areas like the hippocampus, which plays an important role in short- and long-term memory, according to the study. Additionally, diabetes and high blood pressure both seem to increase a person's risk of micro-strokes and other damage to the blood vessels that feed the brain, the study authors said. "People who had diabetes earlier in life had much worse brain [structure] than those who had it later in life," said lead author Dr. Rosebud Roberts, a Mayo Clinic researcher. "These scans are showing us that cognitive impairment happens over a long period of time. The earlier you ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Type 2, Hypertension, Dementia

High Blood Pressure Common, Often Untreated in U.S. Hispanics: Study

Posted 13 Mar 2014 by

THURSDAY, March 13, 2014 – High blood pressure often is untreated in U.S. Hispanics, putting them at risk for heart disease and stroke, new research finds. Hispanics are nearly as likely as whites to have high blood pressure, but less likely to have it under control, said study researcher Paul Sorlie, chief of the epidemiology branch of the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The findings, published March 13 in the American Journal of Hypertension, solidify what other research has found and also add valuable information, Sorlie said. His team evaluated more than 16,000 men and women of Hispanic origin enrolled in a large study that began in 2008. Participants were between 18 and 74 years old and lived in New York City, Chicago, Miami or San Diego. In terms of blood pressure prevalence and control, "all Hispanics are not alike," Sorlie said. Cubans, Puerto Ricans and ... Read more

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Even Slightly Higher Blood Pressure May Raise Stroke Risk: Study

Posted 12 Mar 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, March 12, 2014 – High blood pressure has long been pegged as a risk factor for stroke, but a new analysis suggests that even slightly elevated blood pressure levels raise the odds of suffering a stroke. The sweeping review analyzed data from 760,000 study participants who were followed for up to 36 years. The researchers found that people with "prehypertension" – higher-than-optimal blood pressure not officially defined as high blood pressure – were 66 percent more likely to experience a stroke than those with normal blood pressure. "This meta-analysis confirms evidence from many studies, and I think it continues to warn physicians and the public that more vigorous control of blood pressure is important for reducing stroke risk," said Dr. Ralph Sacco, chairman of neurology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, who was not involved in the research. "The ... Read more

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

Diet to Reduce Blood Pressure May Also Stave Off Kidney Stones

Posted 3 Mar 2014 by

SATURDAY, March 1, 2014 – A diet originally designed to lower blood pressure may also be effective for preventing kidney stones, according to a new study. Researchers say a diet based on the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating plan is more practical and less restrictive for people who must watch what they eat for the prevention and treatment of kidney stones. The diet typically recommended to prevent kidney stones is low in "oxalate." Most kidney stones are formed when oxalate binds to calcium while the kidneys make urine. However, high levels of oxalate are found in many nutritious foods, such as beets, navy beans, bulgur, kale, almonds, sweet potatoes, rice bran, rhubarb and spinach, the researchers pointed out. "Previous studies have recommended that those with kidney stones follow a low-oxalate diet to reduce one's chances of forming another stone," Dr. Kerry ... Read more

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