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Yoga Called Good Medicine for High Blood Pressure

Posted 1 hour 8 minutes ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 8, 2016 – Yoga may help reduce blood pressure in people who are at risk for developing hypertension, a new study finds. "Patients with pre-hypertension [slightly elevated blood pressure] are likely to develop hypertension [high blood pressure] unless they improve their lifestyle," said study author Dr. Ashutosh Angrish. He is a cardiologist at Sir Gangaram Hospital in Delhi, India. "Both pre-hypertension and high blood pressure increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and heart failure," Angrish added. The new study included 60 people who had slightly elevated blood pressure but were otherwise healthy. The participants were randomly assigned to either practice hatha yoga while also making conventional lifestyle changes, or to just make the lifestyle changes (the "control" group). The lifestyle changes included moderate aerobic exercise, eating a healthier diet and ... Read more

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Normal Blood Pressure in Clinic May Mask Hypertension

Posted 2 days 20 hours ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 5, 2016 – It's commonly believed that anxiety in the doctor's office causes patients' blood pressure to rise. But for some people, the opposite occurs: Their blood pressure is normal at their medical appointment but elevated the rest of the day. This phenomenon is called "masked hypertension." The best way to uncover it is to wear a small monitoring device for 24 hours, researchers said. For this new study, the researchers had almost 900 healthy, middle-aged patients do just that. The result: Almost 16 percent who had "normal" blood pressure at the clinic learned otherwise after around-the-clock monitoring. "In working individuals who are not being treated for hypertension [high blood pressure], our data show that ambulatory blood pressure is usually higher than clinic blood pressure," said lead researcher Joseph Schwartz. He is a professor of psychiatry and sociology at ... Read more

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High Blood Pressure Rates Have Doubled Worldwide Since 1975

Posted 16 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 16, 2016 – The number of people worldwide with high blood pressure has nearly doubled over the past 40 years, a new study reveals. At the same time, average blood pressure levels are at an all-time low in the United States and other developed nations, the researchers said. "High blood pressure is the leading risk factor for stroke and heart disease, and kills around 7.5 million people worldwide every year. Most of these deaths are experienced in the developing world," said study author Majid Ezzati, a professor at Imperial College, London in England. "Taken globally, high blood pressure is no longer a problem of the Western world or wealthy countries. It is a problem of the world's poorest countries and people," Ezzati added. The overall number of people with high blood pressure ("hypertension") rose from 594 million in 1975 to more than 1 billion in 2015, due to ... Read more

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'White Coat' High Blood Pressure May Signal Trouble in Older People

Posted 31 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 31, 2016 – So-called "white coat hypertension" is mostly harmless, but in some older people it may indicate a risk for heart disease, a new study suggests. White coat hypertension refers to high blood pressure readings in a doctor's office or other medical setting in people who typically have normal blood pressure. This study included 653 people with white coat hypertension and 653 with normal blood pressure. All of the study volunteers were followed for more than 10 years. During that time, there was no difference in the number of new heart problems in either group for people younger than 60. However, among 92 people aged 60 and older, there were 18 more new heart problem cases among those with white coat hypertension than in those without, according to researchers, led by Dr. Stanley Franklin from University of California, Irvine. Franklin's team said the findings ... Read more

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Tighter Blood Pressure Control Could Save 100,000 U.S. Lives: Study

Posted 15 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 15, 2016 – Engaging Americans at high risk for heart disease in aggressive efforts to lower their blood pressure could save more than 100,000 lives a year, a new analysis indicates. Current guidelines recommend a systolic pressure – the top number in a blood pressure reading – of below 140 mm Hg. But a 2015 study from the U.S. National Institutes of Health suggested more lives could be saved if the goal was less than 120 mm Hg. The NIH trial known as SPRINT included adults aged 50 and older with systolic readings of 130 to 180 mm Hg and at high risk of heart disease (but not diabetes or stroke). They had either intensive treatment, with a goal of lowering systolic pressure to less than 120 mm Hg, or standard treatment, with a target of less than 140 mm Hg. The results were so impressive that the NIH halted the trial early. Risk of death from all causes was 27 percent ... Read more

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Physically Demanding Job, High Blood Pressure a Bad Mix for Women

Posted 15 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 15, 2016 – Having a physically demanding job and high blood pressure may triple a woman's risk of heart disease, a new study contends. Researchers looked at more than 12,000 female nurses in Denmark, and found that those with high blood pressure and highly active jobs were much more likely to develop heart disease than those with normal blood pressure and moderately active jobs. "Previous research has shown that men and women with physically demanding jobs have an increased risk of heart disease," said study author Karen Allesoe, a Ph.D. student at the University of Southern Denmark. "The two risk factors appear to work together, resulting in an even greater incidence of heart disease," Allesoe said. "To our knowledge, this has not been shown before among women." However, the study only showed an association for heart disease risk, not a cause-and-effect relationship. The ... Read more

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More Support for Lower Blood Pressure Goals

Posted 9 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9, 2015 – Intensive treatment to lower blood pressure below currently recommended levels reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke in patients with high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease, a new study shows. Effective blood pressure goals have been the subject of much recent scientific debate, with another recent study also supporting lower targets. For this study, researchers analyzed data from 19 clinical trials that included nearly 45,000 people. They wanted to assess the potential benefits and safety of pushing systolic blood pressure in high-risk patients below the current target of 140. Systolic is the top number in a blood pressure reading. Compared to those who received standard treatment, average systolic pressure was 6.8 lower and diastolic blood pressure was 4.5 lower in patients who received more intensive treatment – 133.2/76.4 ... Read more

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Heart Disease Doesn't Take a Holiday

Posted 25 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 25, 2015 – People with heart disease should take a number of precautions if they travel over the Thanksgiving holiday, an expert suggests. The first step is to be as well-prepared on your trip as you are at home, said Dr. Winston Gandy Jr., a cardiologist at Piedmont Heart Institute in Atlanta. "Make sure when you travel that you have your medicine," Gandy said in an American Heart Association news release. Some people carry a copy of their original prescriptions in case they lose their medications, but having a list of your medications and your cardiologist's phone number should be sufficient. It's also a good idea to tell your cardiologist where you'll be. "Chances are your cardiologist is going to know someone there, either personally or by reputation," who can provide you with help if needed, Gandy said. Research medical facilities at your destination, and know what ... Read more

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Younger Women Less Likely to Take Meds After Heart Attack

Posted 13 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 13, 2015 – Younger women who've had a heart attack are less likely than men to be taking the appropriate heart medications one year later, new Canadian research shows. These findings underscore previous studies that show fewer women take these drugs than men. Researchers said this discrepancy has important implications for how doctors approach treatment for younger women who've had a heart attack. "The gender gap in treatment initiation among younger women is an important finding because younger women have much worse outcomes after suffering a heart attack than do men of the same age," said study co-author Karin Humphries, an associate professor of cardiology at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver. "This finding suggests that younger women should be treated aggressively, especially when we have medications that work," Humphries added in a news release from ... Read more

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Confirm High Blood Pressure Outside Doctor's Office, U.S. Task Force Says

Posted 12 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 12, 2015 – High blood pressure levels should generally be confirmed with home or ambulatory blood pressure monitoring before starting treatment for hypertension, a new U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation says. Many factors can affect blood pressure readings, such as stress, physical activity and caffeine or nicotine, the USPSTF said. And, some people experience "white-coat hypertension" – an increase in blood pressure at the doctor's office from stress – when having their blood pressure taken. All of these factors can make it hard to tell if someone really has high blood pressure, the researchers said. That's why the Task Force recommends confirming a diagnosis of high blood pressure, or hypertension, before starting treatment, unless someone has very high blood pressure that needs to be treated right away. "For most patients, elevated blood ... Read more

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Health Tip: Controlling Blood Pressure

Posted 16 Sep 2015 by Drugs.com

-- If you've got high blood pressure, you must work with your doctor to help keep it under control. The U.S. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute recommends: Eat a healthy diet, get regular exercise and stay at a healthy body weight. Take all of your medications as prescribed. Don't skip pills or let a prescription run out. Follow your doctor's orders for checkups and tests. Learn to check your blood pressure at home. Log your pressure readings in a journal. Read more

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Including Pharmacist on Medical Team May Aid Blood Pressure Control

Posted 7 Aug 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 7, 2015 – Pharmacists can play an important role in helping patients control high blood pressure, a new study finds. Researchers followed 625 racially and ethnically diverse Americans with uncontrolled high blood pressure who were seen at 32 medical offices in 15 states. The patients were either cared for by a doctor only, or by a medical team that included a pharmacist. "Clinical pharmacists were able to contribute to the care team by tailoring blood pressure medications for each patient and spent extra time educating patients on how to decrease their blood pressure," study corresponding author Tyler Gums, a postdoctoral researcher in the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy, said in a university news release. High blood pressure increases the likelihood of heart disease and stroke, two of the leading causes of death for Americans, the study authors noted. The ... Read more

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Big Swings in Blood Pressure Could Spell Trouble

Posted 27 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 27, 2015 – Wide blood pressure fluctuations may signal an increased risk of heart disease and early death, researchers say. The large study of people taking blood pressure medication found that variations of more than 14 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure readings between doctor visits was linked to a 25 percent increased risk of heart failure. Systolic blood pressure is the top number in a blood pressure reading. "Patients should have their blood pressure controlled," said lead researcher Paul Muntner, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Alabama School of Public Health at Birmingham. "They should be aware that their blood pressure changes, and if there is a lot of variation, they might want to talk with their doctor about why it's changing." These variations may be a sign of increasing damage to the arteries, particularly stiffening, Muntner said. About one in ... Read more

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Blood Pressure Meds Lower Heart, Stroke Risks in Diabetics: Analysis

Posted 10 Feb 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 10, 2015 – A new analysis shows that people with type 2 diabetes are less likely to suffer heart attacks, strokes or die early when they take blood pressure medications – even if they don't actually have high blood pressure. "Stroke, heart attack and other circulatory diseases are the biggest cause of premature death and disability in people with diabetes," said review author Dr. Kazem Rahimi, deputy director with the George Institute for Global Health at the University of Oxford in England. "Any intervention that safely reduces the risk, even if modestly, will have an important effect." According to the American Diabetes Association, an estimated two-thirds of people with diabetes have high blood pressure or take blood pressure medication. Diabetics tend to have higher blood pressure than other people, Rahimi said, and this can lead to health problems. It's clear that ... Read more

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Fainting Spells Often Tied to Too Many Meds at Once: Study

Posted 4 Nov 2012 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, Nov. 4 – Taking too many medications at the same time could lead to repeated fainting episodes, a new study reveals. "Simply stated, the more antihypertensive pills a patient takes, the greater the likelihood of a possible fainting spell under certain circumstances," explained one cardiologist, Dr. David Friedman, chief of Heart Failure Services at North Shore-LIJ's Plainview Hospital in Plainview, N.Y. He was not involved in the new research. In the study, Danish researchers led by Dr. Martin Ruwald of Copenhagen University Hospital Gentofte looked at more than 127,000 patients, median age 64, who were hospitalized for fainting between 1997 and 2009. Of those patients, more than one-fifth had experienced at least two fainting episodes. The researchers found that the risk of repeat fainting rose with the number of medications that patients were taking at the same time. For ... Read more

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