Lowering BP reduces health risks at all weight levels
Data from the Perindopril Protection Against Recurrent Stroke Study showed lowering blood pressure reduced the risk of vascular disease and stroke among patients of all body weights. Overweight and obese patients, however, have a greater baseline cardiovascular risk, so they saw the biggest benefit of all study participants, researchers said. Medscape (free registration)/Heartwire (3/12)
Key results from a landmark federal study are in, and the results are disappointing for diabetics: Adding drugs to drive blood pressure and blood-fats lower than current targets did not prevent heart problems, and in some cases caused harmful side effects.
A decade ago, the federal government launched the three-part study to see whether intensely lowering blood sugar, blood pressure, or fats in the blood would reduce heart attacks and strokes in diabetics. The first piece of the study – about blood sugar – was stopped two years ago, when researchers saw more instead of less risk with that approach. Now, the other two parts of the study are in.
Psoriasis is a risk factor for heart attack, stroke
Psoriasis may raise the risk of heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular problems, likely through a shared inflammatory response, Danish researchers told a cardiology conference. Study data showed severe psoriasis raised the risk of a heart attack by 24%, and having moderate or severe disease increased the odds of a stroke by 45%. HealthDay News
Variable blood pressure raises risk of stroke
Patients with variable blood pressure readings may be six times more likely to have a stroke compared with people who have regularly high blood pressure, study data showed. European researchers said that blood pressure treatment guidelines may need to be revised and that the number of people treated for hypertension could double. The Washington Post/The Associated Press (3/12)
Family history is key in stroke risk, study finds
U.S. researchers found that children of men or women who had a stroke by age 65 had a fourfold increased risk of stroke by that age and double the risk of stroke at any age. The lead researcher said people with a positive family history of stroke should work to modify risk from other factors, such as good blood pressure control, exercise and maintaining a healthy weight. HealthDay News (3/8)
Employees who used them lost weight, lowered heart disease risk, study finds
TUESDAY, March 2 (HealthDay News) — Workplace wellness programs help employees lose weight and reduce their risk of heart disease, a new study shows. U.S. researchers followed 757 hospital workers who took part in a voluntary 12-week, team-based wellness program that focused on diet and exercise. Data on the participants’ weight, lifestyle behavior and heart disease risk factors were collected at the start of the study, at the end of the wellness program and a year after the program ended.
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute offers tips on how to prevent and control heart disease.
Strokes are becoming more common among younger patients
The incidence of strokes among patients ages 20 to 45 increased to 7.3% in 2005 from 4.5% in 1993 to 1994, study data showed. Obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes may be the reasons for the increase, researchers said. The average age of stroke patients decreased from 71.3 years old to 68.4 during the same time period. HealthDay News (2/24)
February 22, 2010
A critical new report declares high blood pressure in the U.S. to be a neglected disease – a term that usually describes mysterious tropical illnesses, not a well-known plague of rich countries.
The prestigious Institute of Medicine said Monday that even though nearly one in three adults has hypertension, and it’s on the rise, fighting it apparently has fallen out of fashion: Doctors too often don’t treat it aggressively, and the government hasn’t made it enough of a priority, either.
Yet high blood pressure, the nation’s second-leading cause of death, is relatively simple to prevent and treat, the institute said.
“There’s that incredible disconnect,” said Dr. David Fleming, Seattle-King County’s public health director and chairman of the IOM committee that examined how to trim the toll.
“In our country, if you live long enough, you’re almost guaranteed to get hypertension, so this is something we should all be concerned about,” added report co-author Dr. Corinne Husten of the nonprofit Partnership for Prevention.
This is not rocket science, the report makes clear: Cut the salt. Eat more potassium. Get some exercise. Drop 10 pounds. Those steps could make a big difference in how many people suffer high blood pressure – 73 million at last count. Another 59 million are on the brink, with blood pressure hovering at levels officially deemed pre-hypertension.
So the institute urged the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to push doctors to better treat hypertension, and to work with communities to make it easier for people to live the healthy lifestyles that can prevent it.
Hypertension competed with other disorders for the $54 million that CDC spent on heart disease and stroke prevention last year, while it cost the health care system at least $73 billion, the institute noted.
High blood pressure is sinister because it’s silent. People seldom notice symptoms until their organs already have been damaged. Hypertension triggers more than one-third of heart attacks, is a leading cause of strokes and kidney failure, and plays a role in blindness and even dementia.
A Population-Based Policy and Systems Change Approach to Prevent and Control Hypertension
- February 22, 2010
- Consensus Report
- Diseases, Public Health
- Public Health Priorities to Reduce and Control Hypertension in the U.S. Population
- Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice
Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is one of the nation’s leading causes of death, responsible for roughly one in six deaths among adults annually. Nearly one in three adults has hypertension, which places huge economic demands on the health care system, estimated at $73.4 billion in direct and indirect costs in 2009 alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which leads the federal government’s efforts to reduce the impact of hypertension, asked the IOM to identify high-priority areas on which public health organizations and professionals should focus in order to accelerate progress in hypertension reduction and control.
In this report, the IOM recommends that the CDC as well as state and local health jurisdictions focus on population-based strategies that can reach large numbers of people and improve the well-being of entire communities. Behavioral and lifestyle interventions–reducing sodium intake, increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables, and increasing physical activity–are among the best examples. The report also highlights the need to improve providers’ adherence to the treatment guidelines for hypertension, especially in the elderly population, and to encourage patients to take medication consistently by reducing or eliminating the cost of antihypertensive medication.
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Many people whose doctors start them on medications for conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure may never fill those prescriptions, a new study suggests.
Researchers found that among more than 75,000 Massachusetts patients given drug prescriptions over one year, 22 percent of the prescriptions were never filled. The rate was even higher — 28 percent — when the researchers looked only at first-time prescriptions.
Such “non-adherence,” the study found, was common even among patients prescribed drugs for chronic conditions that can have serious health consequences.