February 7, 2011 |
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.
February 3, 2011 |
Obesity rates around the world have about doubled between 1980 and 2008, but not all the news is bad--some countries have shown a decline in average blood pressure and cholesterol levels and a leveling off of body mass index. The news comes via several studies released Thursday in the Lancet , which detail how various countries and regions are faring in terms of BMI, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Overall, between 1980 and 2008, global BMI increased on average 0.4 to 0.5 kilograms (about 0.9 to 1.1 pounds)
February 2, 2011 |
The 2010 Dietary Guidelines told us this week that we should lower our salt intake to fight hypertension. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that far too many Americans have untreated hypertension (and untreated bad cholesterol profiles, to boot). And “heart health” month has only begun. Readers will need stamina to get through all 28 days of it. In addition to salt reduction, a variety of lifestyle measures can help people get their blood pressure down.
February 1, 2011 |
The cluster of symptoms collectively known as a metabolic syndrome heighten the prospect that with age will come steep cognitive decline, a new study has found. Researchers followed 7,087 French people over 65 for four years to see what factors were most clearly linked to losses in mental performance that fell short of dementia. Many seniors--including 15.8% of the sample--are diagnosed with metabolic syndrome , defined by these researchers as having two of the following five biomarkers: high blood pressure, a large waist circumference, a high overall cholesterol reading , a particularly low score on HDL (or "good")
February 1, 2011 |
One out of every three adult Americans has high cholesterol levels and two-thirds of them do not have it under control, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday. Similarly, one out of every three adults has high blood pressure and half of them do not have it under control. High blood pressure and high cholesterol are two of the major risk factors for heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular diseases, which are the leading cause of death in the United States, killing 800,000 people every year.
January 4, 2011 |
Intravenous fluids given to a trauma victim at an accident site may not be the best treatment and in many cases may actually be counterproductive, increasing the risk that a patient will die, researchers said Tuesday. Taking the time to insert an IV line may delay getting the patient to the hospital where treatment can be initiated and administering fluids may not be the most appropriate treatment, according to the study, published online in the Annals of Surgery ahead of publication in the February issue of the journal.
January 3, 2011 |
Fruta Planta, a supplement that some users might consider "natural" and thus "healthy," is the latest weight-loss product to be recalled by its maker after a Food and Drug Administration warning. Apparently the product known as Fruta Planta or Reduce Weight Fruta Planta has been linked to several heart attacks and one death. This Orlando Sentinel story says one of the ingredients -- sibutramine, pulled from the market in December -- caused the agency to act. The article states: "Sibutramine is known to increase blood pressure and pulse rate in some patients and may present a serious risk for those with a history of coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure , arrhythmias or stroke.
December 31, 2010 |
The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday advised consumers not to buy or use two drinks sold as supplements for sexual enhancement. The products, Rock Hard Extreme and Passion Coffee, are sold on websites and possibly in retail outlets, the agency said. Laboratory analysis indicated that both contain sulfoaildenafil, an active pharmaceutical ingredient that is similar to sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra. Sulfoaildenafil could interact with prescription medications that include nitrates, the FDA warned, lowering blood pressure to "dangerous levels.
November 22, 2010 |
When I read the news about the link between hormone replacement therapy and aggressive breast cancer, I discovered that it related only to Prempro. Prempro is not a natural hormone replacement. I believe that the "bioidentical" estradiol and progesterone hormones I receive in a transdermal patch are much safer and give better results. We spoke recently with Dr. Susan Love, one of the country's leading experts on breast cancer. She points out that women who have naturally high levels of hormones are at greater risk for breast cancer.
November 18, 2010 |
A simple surgical procedure destroying certain nerves in the kidney can sharply reduce blood pressure in patients whose hypertension cannot be controlled with conventional medications, researchers said Wednesday. The study was conducted on 52 patients whose blood pressure averaged 178/96, despite the fact that they were taking five hypertension medications. On average, their blood pressure dropped by 32/12, while a control group of 54 patients receiving only drugs showed no change.