New Hypertension Guidelines

The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have defined three new categories of hypertension: Elevated blood pressure: 120-129 mm Hg systolic, <80 mm Hg diastolic Stage 1 hypertension: 130-139 mm Hg systolic or 80-89 mm Hg diastolic Stage 2 hypertension: >140 mm Hg systolic or >90 mm Hg diastolic Lifestyle modifications are recommended for…

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Hypertension and its Burden of Disease

Researchers estimate that 874 million adults worldwide have a systolic blood pressure of 140 mm Hg or higher. Analyzing data from 844 population-based studies in 154 countries between 1990 and 2015, scientists attempted to assess the relationship of hypertension to various causes of death. They estimate that 14% of total deaths and 143 million life-years of…

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Set Down That Salt Shaker

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says about 90% of U.S. school children consume too much sodium each day. It may come as a surprise that only 10 common foods contribute 40% of the sodium eaten by children. Check out the great resources and infographics to help your family be sodium wise. Remember, healthy…

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Dietary Nitrates May Lower Blood Pressure

Inorganic nitrates found in beet juice are converted to nitric oxide, a vasodilator. In a randomized, double-blind trial, researchers fed subjects 250 mL beet juice or beet juice with the nitrates removed (placebo) daily for 4 weeks. Those getting the regular beet juice saw their mean systolic and diastolic BPs significantly reduced. No changes were observed…

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Lifestyle Matters!

A 40 year community-based effort in a rural Maine (U.S.) county to help residents control elevated blood pressure and cholesterol, stop smoking, eat healthfully, and exercise more appears to have yielded significant benefits. Compared with other counties in the same state, Franklin's residents have lower mortality rates and fewer hospitalizations resulting in savings of $5.4 million…

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Lifestyle Change, Not Medication for Mild Hypertention?

Almost 40 percent of the world's population have hypertension, and more than half are considered to be mild hypertensives. About half of these are treated with medications, even though there is only limited evidence that this reduces mortality or morbidity. Some researchers are suggesting an overemphasis on drug treatment limits the opportunities to focus on individual and…

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Salt Reduction Makes an Impact in the U.K.

Between 2003 and 2011 stroke deaths in the U.K. decreased 42% (P<0.001) and ischemic heart disease fell by 40% (P<0.001). During the same time salt intake decreased by 1.4 g/day (P<0.01) measured by 24-hour urinary sodium. The findings of this 8-year study appear to support a key role for lower salt intake. Despite this progress,…

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Flaxseed Helps Hypertensives

It was a small study, but the results a very encouraging! Over 100 patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD) went on a diet containing 30 g of milled flaxseed in foods or a placebo for 6 months. At the end of this double-blind, randomized trial those in the flaxseed group had lower systolic and diastolic…

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Recreational Excerise Lowers Risk of Hypertension

Researchers found individuals with higher levels of physical activity at significantly lower risk of developing hypertension in the long-term. Data from over 136,000 people was drawn from 13 progressive cohort studies from North American, Europe, and Asia. High and moderate levels of recreational physical activity, not occupational activity, conferred the benefit. PositiveTip: Adopting an active…

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Occasional Childhood High BP May Predict Hypertension

One blood pressure reading above the 95th percentile (hypertension) before leaving high school resulted in 3 times the risk of adult hypertension after adjusting for age, gender, and BMI. This University of Indiana study began in 1986 with 1117 healthy children who were 12 years old. They were followed until they reached 33 years old.…

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