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Blood Pressure

February 8, 2010
Is having a bad habit ever a good thing? It kind of can be if your aim is to lower your blood pressure, since one way to do that is to reduce your alcohol consumption significantly. It's a winning strategy -- but only, of course, if you were drinking a lot in the first place. Many studies have documented the link between alcohol and blood pressure. A 2001 review of 15 alcohol-reduction trials with 2,234 participants concluded that cutting back on alcohol led to reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressures.
November 21, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
High blood pressure usually concerns only people middle-aged and older. But a new study suggests that high blood pressure in early adulthood spells future heart problems and that it shouldn't be ignored. Researchers from the United States and United Kingdom followed almost 19,000 male students from Harvard who had their blood pressure measured when they entered college between 1914 and 1952. These men also responded to a health questionnaire mailed in the 1960s when they were an average age of almost 46. Assessments of death and cause of death were made in 1998.
July 15, 2013 | By Monte Morin
The risk of elevated blood pressure among children and teens has risen 27% over a 13-year period, and is probably caused by over-consumption of salt and rising obesity, according to a new study. In a paper published Monday in Hypertension , a journal of the American Heart Assn. , researchers examined health and nutrition data for more than 11,600 children ages 8 to 17. Study authors concluded that changes in eating habits over the last two decades, dependence on processed foods and excessive salt intake were putting more U.S. children at future risk of stroke, heart disease and kidney failure.
August 17, 2009 | Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon
I was diagnosed recently with borderline hypertension. My internist has prescribed the diuretics HCTZ and spironolactone. My reactions to those have been headache, nausea and intestinal upset. We also have tried Coreg, Norvasc, Accupril and lisinopril. My reaction to those medications has been severe migraine-like headaches. Are there any alternative therapies for treating hypertension? There are many ways to treat high blood pressure, but you will need to work with your doctor to make sure the tactics you adopt work for you. As one reader of this column has noted, "Losing a little weight (even just 10 pounds)
February 7, 2011 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
Just as American Heart Month begins, a reader sent in a question on checking blood pressure at home -- which, as it turns out, is more nuanced than it looks. So what's the proper way to go about it? There are a couple of concerns when using a home monitoring device to measure blood pressure: which arm to use, and how long to wait before testing. Luckily, the Mayo Clinic and the American Heart Assn. have some guidance on the subject. There's usually a slightly measurable difference in blood pressure between your arms, according to the heart association . Your dominant arm will probably be higher.
November 1, 2012 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, For the Booster Shots Blog
A twenty- or thirtysomething adult with blood pressure that's even a little high is risking damage to the structural integrity of his brain that may be evident by the age of 40, says a new study. The early appearance of hypertension's toll on the brain suggests that physicians should act sooner and more aggressively to control the upward creep of blood pressure in their younger patients, say the authors of the latest research, published online in the Lancet on Thursday. Neurologists at UC Davis led a study that looked at 579 third-generation participants of the famous Framingham Heart Study.
September 29, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
High blood pressure that's only a little above normal might increase the risk of stroke, researchers found. The researchers analyzed data from 12 studies with a total of 518,520 participants to assess the stroke risk of slightly elevated blood pressure, also known as prehypertension. The review was released online Wednesday in the journal Neurology . Almost one-third of the U.S. population is believed to have prehypertension, defined as systolic pressure between 120 and 139 and diastolic pressure between 80 and 89. Normal blood pressure is a systolic reading of less than 120, and a diastolic measure of less than 80. In general, the studies revealed that slightly elevated blood pressure was linked with a 50% higher risk for stroke compared with people with normal blood pressure, even after controlling for variables such as obesity, diabetes, smoking and age. In the seven studies that divided slightly high blood pressure into a low range (systolic pressure between 120 and 129 and diastolic pressure between 80 and 84)
February 8, 2010 | By Karen Ravn >>>
There are two kinds of people in the United States -- ones who have high blood pressure now and ones who have a very good chance of getting it someday. That's bad news, because high blood pressure, technically known as hypertension, raises the risk for stroke, heart disease, heart failure, kidney disease and eye damage, including blindness. Patients can greatly reduce their risk for such problems by bringing their blood pressure down to a "goal level" they establish with their doctor.
October 5, 2010
How high is too high when it comes to your blood pressure? A reading of 140/90 and up is considered high. About two-thirds of Americans older than 65 have high blood pressure, and more may experience pre-hypertension. There's no quick and easy way to reduce blood pressure, but a combination of exercise and eating right can help. DASH, or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension , published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, outlines specific foods and serving sizes for a 2,000-calorie diet that may help bring your numbers down.
February 28, 2011 | By Rosie Mestel, Los Angeles Times
I expect consequences from drinking lots of sugary sodas. Like: unneeded calories, possible spikes in blood sugar, slow but steady erosion of tooth enamel (if those oft-repeated science fair projects with the teeth in the plastic cup of Coke are to be believed) and caffeine jitters. But a rise in blood pressure? A study just published in the journal Hypertension argues that you might be in for that if you have a sugary-beverage habit. The finding comes from the so-called INTERMAP study, which stands for International study of Macro/Micronutrients and Blood Pressure, which kind of works as a name if you ignore words like “study” and “blood.
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