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Hypertension Blog

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

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

High Blood Pressure May Sometimes Be Overtreated: Study

Posted 17 Jun 2014 by

MONDAY, June 16, 2014 – Lower is not necessarily better when it comes to treating high blood pressure, researchers report. It appears that reducing systolic blood pressure below 120 mm Hg (millimeters of mercury) provides no additional benefits for people with high blood pressure, according to new findings from a two-decades-long study of heart disease risk. This could mean fewer medications for people who have gotten their high blood pressure within the "normal" range of 120 to 139, said lead author Dr. Carlos Rodriguez, associate professor of public health sciences at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. "We were a little surprised by the findings," Rodriguez said. "I was expecting that there would be sort of a linear relationship between blood pressure and cardiovascular health outcomes. But the relationship leveled off once systolic blood pressure dropped below ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension

Spats, Conflicts Can Raise a Woman's Blood Pressure

Posted 10 Jun 2014 by

FRIDAY, June 6, 2014 – It goes without saying that being aggravated, criticized, annoyed or disappointed by friends or family members can be stressful. But new research suggests that negative social interactions may actually harm the health of middle-aged women by triggering a long-term jump in blood pressure. However, the dynamic was not seen among men or among women aged 65 and older in the study. Study author Rodlescia Sneed, a doctoral candidate in psychology at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, said the conclusion that negative social interactions seem to affect some women but not men "is consistent with previous research showing that women are more sensitive to the quality of their relationships than men are." But why not older women? "The literature suggests that as people get older, they hone their social networks in order to focus on the relationships that are most ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension

Snoring, High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy May Raise Apnea Risk

Posted 4 Jun 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, June 4, 2014 – Pregnant women with high blood pressure who also snore are at high risk for obstructive sleep apnea, a new study suggests. Researchers cautioned that these women should be screened for the sleep disorder, to avoid complications during pregnancy and delivery. "Hypertensive pregnant women who report snoring should be evaluated for obstructive sleep apnea since sleep apnea can be treated during pregnancy," study author Louise O'Brien, an associate professor at the University of Michigan's Sleep Disorders Center, said in a university news release. She is also an adjunct associate professor in the department of obstetrics & gynecology at the U-M medical school. Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that can cause blood oxygen levels to drop during the night. The telltale sign of this condition is snoring during the night. Obstructive sleep apnea affects up to ... Read more

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

Blood Pressure History May Affect Brain Function in Old Age

Posted 4 Jun 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, June 4, 2014 – For years, doctors have preached that the lower the blood pressure, the better for preventing heart disease and stroke. But a new study suggests that having low blood pressure in later years may be linked with worse memory, at least in those diagnosed with high blood pressure in middle age. On the other hand, researchers linked high blood pressure in later life with greater risk of brain lesions for people who didn't have high blood pressure in their middle years. Brain lesions indicate damage and boost stroke risk. "Our findings bring new insight into the relationship between a history of high blood pressure, blood pressure in old age, the effects of blood pressure on brain structure, and memory and thinking," said study researcher Lenore Launer, chief of neuroepidemiology at the U.S. National Institute on Aging. History of high blood pressure appears to be ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension

Heart Risks Depend on Which Blood Pressure Number Is High: Study

Posted 30 May 2014 by

THURSDAY, May 29, 2014 – When you have high blood pressure, exactly what type of increased heart risk you face may be determined by which number in your blood pressure reading is high, new research shows. In a blood pressure reading, systolic pressure is the top number and diastolic pressure is the bottom number. People with higher systolic blood pressure had a greater risk of bleeding strokes and stable angina (chest pain), while those with higher diastolic blood pressure were more likely to be diagnosed with an abdominal aortic aneurysm. An abdominal aortic aneurysm is an overstretched, weakened section in the body's main artery, that occurs in the belly. If it bursts, it can cause serious bleeding and even death. To reach their conclusion, researchers analyzed the health records of more than 1 million people in England who were aged 30 and older and who did not have heart disease. ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Angina, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease

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