Blood Pressure, Smoking, Coffee Linked to Strokes:
Researchers say people with these risk factors
are more likely to suffer a type of stroke known as an aneurysmal
subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH).
Blood Pressure Readings a Key to Treatment Decisions:
Researchers say doctors should not make hypertension
treatment decisions based solely on the blood pressure readings
taken in their offices.
Acid Found in Vegetable Oil and Soybeans May Deter Stroke:
Japanese researchers believe that linoleic acid may lower blood
pressure and improve circulation in small blood vessels.
Body Temperature Increases Prospects for Stroke Victims:
Researchers say lowering the body temperature of
stroke victims may improve both near-term and long-term survival.
Approves Sale of Go-Anywhere Device to Lower Blood Pressure:
Battery-operated device that looks like a Walkman
helps people perform therapeutic breathing exercises.
Blood Sugar Raises Risk of Stroke Death:
Researchers say those who have high blood sugar at
the time a stroke hits are more likely to die than those with normal
blood sugar levels.
Study Seeks Answers on Best Treatment for Stroke Patients:
Researchers will try to determine whether medical
management or surgery is the most effective way to treat patients
who recently have had either a stroke or a transient ischemic (TIA)
Pressure Drug Helps Stop Irregular Heartbeat:
Researchers say the drug irbesartan not only helps
control high blood pressure and heart failure, but can also help
stop the irregular beating of the heart known as atrial fibrillation.
Hypertensive Patients Helped by More Pounds:
Researchers say they found that overweight people
with hypertension seem to do better than their leaner counterparts.
Aspirin Doesn't Hinder Hypertension Drugs:
Researchers say hypertensive patients who use low-dose
aspirin for its well-known heart protective effects can do so knowing
that it won't hinder their blood pressure medications.
C Deficiency May Significantly Increase Risk of a Stroke:
Researchers say those with blood vitamin C levels
of less than 28.4 micromoles per liter (roughly the amount of vitamin
C you get from a half glass of orange juice a day) had a 2.1 times
greater risk of a stroke.
More Fruits and Vegetables Can Lower Blood Pressure:
Participants in a University of Oxford study reduced
their blood pressure by an average of 4 mm Hg systolic and 1.5 mm
Hg diastolic when they collectively increased their daily fruit
and vegetable intake.
Report Highlights Need for Increased Stroke Awareness:
With almost half of all stroke deaths occurring
before the victims could be transported to the hospital, the CDC
says more people need to know the signs and symptoms so that they
or those around them can get prompt treatment.
Best at Bedtime for Mild Hypertension:
Bedtime is the best time to take aspirin for people
using the drug to help control high blood pressure, researchers
reported at the American Society of Hypertension annual meeting.
May Offer Safer Pain Relief for Hypertensives Than Ibuprofen:
Researchers say those who either have or are at risk of developing
heart or circulatory problems may want to consider taking acetaminophen.
Clot Retrieval Device Reverses Stroke Damage in 93-Year-Old Woman:
Neurologists used the new device, which uses a corkscrew-like
micro wire to snare and remove blood clots in the brain artery,
to help reverse the damage caused by a stroke.
Evidence Moderate Alcohol Consumption Decreases Stroke Risk:
Findings from two groups of researchers add to the growing evidence
that consumption of up to two drinks daily can decrease the risk
of stroke in older people.
May Forecast Risk of Stroke Better Than Body Mass Index:
The girth of a person's waist and hips may be a better predictor
of the risk of strokes than the more traditional body mass index
(BMI) formula that takes into account height and weight, according
Drug Reminyl May Help Some Stroke Victims: Researchers
found that Reminyl helped improve memory, language, reasoning skills,
and ability to perform activities of daily living in patients with
dementia symptoms caused by cerebrovascular disease.
Aids in Treatment of Pulmonary Hypertension: A drug
already used by millions of men for erectile dysfunction has also
been found effective in enhancing the power of an existing therapy
for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension.
Significant Link Between Coffee Drinking and Hypertension: Drinking
one cup of coffee a day may slightly raise your blood pressure,
but long-term drinking of larger amounts of coffee does not appear
to significantly increase the risk of hypertension, according to
Johns Hopkins University Researchers.
Generation Drug Losartan Seen More Effective Than Beta-Blocker:
Two new studies reported in this week's Lancet have
found that the new generation angiotensin II receptor blocking drug
losartan is more effective than one of the highly utilized beta-blockers
in reducing the incidence of stroke and death that can occur in
people with high blood pressure.
Reading More Important for Determining Risk: The
top number in a blood pressure reading is the more important of
the two in determining a person's risk of heart attack and stroke,
and doctors should attach more importance to a high reading, according
to a new French study.
is the force of blood against the walls of arteries. Blood pressure
rises and falls during the day. When blood pressure stays elevated
over time, it is called high blood pressure, or hypertension.
is typically recorded as two numbers the systolic pressure
(as the heart beats) over the diastolic pressure (as the heart relaxes
between beats). A consistent blood pressure reading of 140/90 mm
Hg or higher is considered high blood pressure, another term for
High blood pressure
is common. More than 50 million American adults 1 in 4
have high blood pressure. It is very common in African Americans,
who may get it earlier in life and more often than whites. Many
Americans tend to develop high blood pressure as they get older,
but this is not a part of healthy aging. About 60% of all Americans
age 60 and older have high blood pressure. Others at risk for developing
high blood pressure are the overweight, those with a family history
of high blood pressure, and those with high-normal blood pressure
(130139/8589 mm Hg).
Any form of
high blood pressure is dangerous if not properly treated. Both numbers
in a blood pressure test are important, but, for some, the systolic
is especially meaningful. That's because, for those persons middle
aged and older, systolic pressure gives a better diagnosis of high
does not need to be high for you to have high blood pressure.
High blood pressure is 140 and higher for systolic pressure. When
that happens, the condition is called "isolated systolic hypertension,"
high blood is the most common form of high blood pressure for older
Americans. For most Americans, systolic blood pressure increases
with age, while diastolic increases until about age 55 and then
declines. About 65 percent of hypertensives over age 60 have ISH.
You may have ISH and feel fine. As with other types of high blood
pressure, ISH often causes no symptoms.
If left uncontrolled,
high systolic pressure can lead to stroke, heart attack, congestive
heart failure, kidney damage, blindness, or other conditions. While
it cannot be cured once it has developed, ISH can be controlled.
have proven that treating a high systolic pressure saves lives,
greatly reduces illness, and improves the quality of life. Yet,
most Americans do not have their high systolic pressure under control.
for ISH are the same as for other types of high blood pressure,
in which both systolic and diastolic pressures are high. ISH is
treated with lifestyle changes and/or medications. The key for any
high blood pressure treatment is to bring the condition under proper
control. Blood pressure should be controlled to less than 140/90
mm Hg. If yours is not, then ask your doctor why. You may just need
a lifestyle or drug change, such as reducing salt in your diet or
adding a second medication.
pressure is dangerous because it makes the heart work too hard.
It also makes the walls of the arteries hard. High blood pressure
increases the risk for heart disease and stroke, the first- and
third-leading causes of death for Americans. High blood pressure
can also cause other problems, such as heart failure, kidney disease,
The causes of
high blood pressure vary. Causes may include narrowing of the arteries,
a greater than normal volume of blood, or the heart beating faster
or more forcefully than it should. Any of these conditions will
cause increased pressure against the artery walls. High blood pressure
might also be caused by another medical problem. Most of the time,
the cause is not known. Although high blood pressure usually cannot
be cured, in most cases it can be prevented and controlled.
You can find
out if you have high blood pressure by having your blood pressure
checked regularly. Most doctors will diagnose a person with high
blood pressure on the basis of two or more readings, taken on several
experience high blood pressure only when they visit the doctor's
office. This condition is called "white-coat hypertension."
If your doctor suspects this, you may be asked to monitor your blood
pressure at home or asked to wear a device called an ambulatory
blood pressure monitor. This device is usually worn for 24 hours
and can take blood pressure every 30 minutes.
You can take
steps to prevent high blood pressure by adopting a healthy lifestyle.
These steps include maintaining a healthy weight; being physically
active; following a healthy eating plan, that emphasizes fruits,
vegetables, and low-fat dairy foods; choosing and preparing foods
with less salt and sodium; and, if you drink alcoholic beverages,
drinking in moderation.
It is important
to take steps to keep your blood pressure under control. The treatment
goal is blood pressure below 140/90 and lower for people with other
conditions, such as diabetes and kidney disease. Adopting healthy
lifestyle habits is an effective first step in both preventing and
controlling high blood pressure. If lifestyle changes alone are
not effective in keeping your pressure controlled, it may be necessary
to add blood pressure medications.
provided by: The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National
Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892