Tag Archives: hypertension

Dementia can be caused by hypertension – Study

A new study in Cardiovascular Research, published by Oxford University Press, indicates that patients with high blood pressure are at a higher risk of developing dementia. This research also shows (for the first time) that an MRI can be used to detect very early signatures of neurological damage in people with high blood pressure, before any symptoms of dementia occur.

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High blood pressure is a chronic condition that causes progressive organ damage. It is well known that the vast majority of cases of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia are not due to genetic predisposition but rather to chronic exposure to vascular risk factors.

The clinical approach to treatment of dementia patients usually starts only after symptoms are clearly evident. However, it has becoming increasingly clear that when signs of brain damage are manifest, it may be too late to reverse the neurodegenerative process. Physicians still lack procedures for assessing progression markers that could reveal pre-symptomatic alterations and identify patients at risk of developing dementia.

Researchers screened subjects admitted at the Regional Excellence Hypertension Center of the Italian Society of Hypertension in the Department of Angiocardioneurology and Translational Medicine of the I.R.C.C.S, Neuromed, in Italy. Researchers recruited people aged 40 to 65, compliant to give written informed consent and with the possibility to perform a dedicated 3 Tesla MRI scan. Continue reading

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Filed under aging brain, brain, brain function, brain health, hypertension

New review highlights benefits of plant-based diets for heart health

There seems to be a lot of pro-plant based diet info coming out of late. The old ‘meat and potatoes’ diets we grew up on in the ’50’s are being viewed in some doubt. Attitudes change as we learn more about health benefits. While I don’t mean to equate smoking with eating meat, I remember when my first wife was pregnant with our daughter in the 1960’s she said she was going to quit smoking till the baby was born. I thought that seemed really extreme at the time. These days no sane mom-to-be would consider ‘lighting up.’

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Vegetarian, especially vegan, diets are associated with better cardiovascular health, according to a new review published in the journal Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases.

Researchers with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine looked at multiple clinical trials and observational studies and found strong and consistent evidence that plant-based dietary patterns can prevent and reverse atherosclerosis and decrease other markers of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, including blood pressure, blood lipids, and weight. Continue reading

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Filed under blocked arteries, cardiovascular diseases, cardiovascular health, cholesterol, good weight loss foods, HDL Cholesterol, hypertension, LDL Cholesterol, weight loss

High Fitness Level Reduces Chance of Developing Hypertension

“Fitness is a strong predictor of who develops hypertension and who does not,” said Al-Mallah, who is also an associate professor of medicine at Wayne State University and head of cardiac imaging at King Abdulaziz Cardiac Center in Saudi Arabia. “Hypertension is associated with a lot of other illnesses and adds significantly to healthcare costs, so we need to know how we can reduce it.

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People with the highest fitness levels are less likely to develop hypertension, according to new research in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

“If you’re exercising and you’re fit, your chances of developing hypertension are much less than someone else who has the same characteristics but isn’t fit,” said Mouaz H. Al-Mallah, M.D., senior author of the study and a cardiologist at the Henry Ford Heart and Vascular Institute in Detroit, Michigan. “Increasing exercise and fitness levels probably protects against many diseases.”

More than 57,000 participants in the Henry Ford Exercise Testing Project (The FIT Project) in 1991-2009 were referred for a treadmill stress test because they experienced chest pain or shortness of breath or to rule out ischemia.

Researchers measured the participants’ physical fitness by calculating how much energy they burned in metabolic equivalents (METs), an estimate of the amount of oxygen the body uses per kilogram of…

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Benefits of Nigella Sativa

Hypertension is a condition involving elevated blood pressure, and if not treated, it can lead to heart disease, stroke and other health problems. A 2008 study published in “Fundamental and Clinical Pharmacology,” found that subjects taking Nigella sativa twice daily had significantly lower diastolic blood pressures than those not taking this herb.

Our Better Health

May 20, 2011    By Jaime Herndon

Nigella sativa, also known as black cumin, nutmeg flower, black caraway and black onion seed, is a plant that contains seeds that can be used in cooking and also for medicinal purposes. These seeds may not be effective for everyone, and even though they are natural, they can still cause adverse effects and interactions with medications. Consult your health-care provider before using Nigella sativa for any health purposes.

Anti-cancer Properties

Nigella sativa contains a chemical called thymoquinone that is said to have anti-cancer effects. A 2011 study published in “Cell Biology International” found that thymoquinone has an additive effect on cell destruction when combined with radiation therapy for breast adenocarcinoma and ductal carcinoma. If you have cancer, do not take Nigella sativa without first talking to your doctor, because it may interact with medications. It can also have effects on your platelets, which…

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Should you take your own blood pressure at home?

I had never really considered this question before, but after listening to Dr. Mark Huffman of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine speak to the Northwestern Memorial Healthy Transitions Program®, I am going to do it.

I wrote up high blood pressure, or hypertension, for the blog two years ago.

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The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) say, “High blood pressure is sometimes called the “silent killer” because it usually has no warning signs or symptoms. Many people do not know that they have high blood pressure. That’s why it’s important to get your blood pressure checked regularly.”

Just to give you some ballpark figures, Normal blood pressure (BP) is 120/80, systolic/diastolic. Prehypertensive is 120-139 over 80-89. Stage one hypertension is 140-159 over 90 – 99. Stage two hypertension reads 160 -179 over 100 – 109.

Modifiable causes of high BP or hypertension include smoking, obesity, lack of physical activity, dietary salt, alcohol consumption and stress.

Causes of high BP over which we have no control include older age, genetics, family history of high BP, chronic kidney disease and adrenal and thyroid disorders.

The CDC recommends, “There are several things that you can do to keep your blood pressure in a healthy range—
• Get your blood pressure checked regularly.
• Eat a healthy diet.
• Maintain a healthy weight.
• Be physically active.
• Limit alcohol use.
• Don’t smoke.
• Prevent or treat diabetes

Some 67 million American adults (31%) have high blood pressure—that’s 1 in every 3 American adults.  Anyone, including children, can develop high blood pressure. It greatly increases the risk for heart disease and stroke, the first and third leading causes of death in the United States.” Emphasis mine.

Dr. Huffman said that home blood pressure measurements are increasingly preferred as adjuncts to those taken in the doctor’s office.

“Automatic sphygmomanometers work well. Omron, upper arm cuffs are preferred and are often covered by insurance. ” He recommended checking out Amazon where they are available for $45 to $65.

I liked very much that the CDC recommendations were all lifestyle ones and did not include any taking of drugs. Obviously, this assumes that our blood pressure is in the normal range. Perhaps if we get our lifestyle in synch with these recommendations, our blood pressure won’t go up and we won’t need to go the drug route – ever.

I am arranging to get a blood pressure monitor and plan to take mine regularly at home and furnish my doctor with the numbers the next time I see her.

What do you think?

Tony

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Filed under aging, blood pressure, heart, heart disease, heart problems, stroke

Simulated Mars Mission Reveals Body’s Sodium Rhythms

“The findings, which demonstrate that sodium is stored in the body, have implications for blood pressure control, hypertension and salt-associated cardiovascular risk.”

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Clinical pharmacologist Jens Titze, M.D., knew he had a one-of-a-kind scientific opportunity: the Russians were going to simulate a flight to Mars, and he was invited to study the participating cosmonauts.

Titze, now an associate professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University, wanted to explore long-term sodium balance in humans. He didn’t believe the textbook view – that the salt we eat is rapidly excreted in urine to maintain relatively constant body sodium levels. The “Mars500” simulation gave him the chance to keep salt intake constant and monitor urine sodium levels in humans over a long period of time.

Now, in the journal Cell Metabolism, Titze and his colleagues report that – in contrast to the prevailing dogma – sodium levels fluctuate rhythmically with 7-day and monthly cycles. The findings, which demonstrate that sodium is stored in the body, have implications for blood pressure control, hypertension and salt-associated cardiovascular risk.

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