Hypertension, or more commonly referred to as high blood pressure is a common condition that occurs when your blood pressure—the force of the blood on the walls of your arteries—is often too high. For most adults, a normal blood pressure is less than 120 over 80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), which is written as your systolic pressure reading over your diastolic pressure reading — 120/80 mm Hg. Your blood pressure is considered high when you have consistent systolic readings of 130 mm Hg or higher or diastolic readings of 80 mm Hg or higher.
You usually don’t have symptoms from hypertension until it has caused serious health problems. About 1 in 3 U.S. adults with hypertension aren’t even aware they have it and are not being treated to control their blood pressure. That is why it is important to have your blood pressure checked at least once a year.
Hypertension can be dangerous if it’s not treated. It can put you at risk for stroke, heart failure, kidney failure and other medical problems. Changing what you eat, exercising more and taking your medicine can help you keep your blood pressure where it should be.
Following are some of the latest research items regarding hypertension
Do Oral Devices Reduce Sleep Apnea and Reduce Heart Disease Risk?
In patients with severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), oral appliances that treat the condition by moving the lower jaw forward appear to improve sleep but not reduce key risk factors for developing heart and other cardiovascular disease, according to new research published in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Endothelial dysfunction is one of the intermediate mechanisms that potentially contribute to the increased risk of cardiovascular disease in OSA. Whether MAD therapy improves endothelial function in OSA patients had not been evaluated before in properly controlled and adequately powered trials. Learn more
An Impact from Hypertension
Women who develop high blood pressure (HBP) in their 40s may be more likely to develop dementia years later, according to a study recently in the online issue of “Neurology”, the medical journal of the “American Academy of Neurology.”
Having HBP in early adulthood, or in one’s 30s, was not associated with any increased risk of dementia. But having HBP in mid-adulthood, or in one’s 40s, was associated with a 65-percent increased risk of dementia for women. Women who developed high blood pressure in their 40s were 73 percent more likely to develop dementia than women who had stable, normal blood pressure throughout their 30s and 40s.
Learn more about the study from the American Academy of Neurology.
Maybe Your Systolic Blood Pressure is not so High!
A patient with an incorrect high blood pressure diagnosis may be prescribed blood pressure-lowering medication unnecessarily. These medications can cause patients’ blood pressure to dip too low (hypotension); elderly patients are especially at risk. Side effects of hypotension can include short-term symptoms such as dizziness and fainting and long-term problems such as insufficient blood supply to vital organs, which can lead to acute kidney injury and cognitive impairment.
A research team has developed a device — using a technique called photoplethysmography — to more accurately measure systolic blood pressure. Learn more @ American Physiological Society (APS).
Sauna Bathing Keeps Blood Pressure in Check
Frequent sauna bathing reduces the risk of elevated blood pressure, according to an extensive follow-up population-based study carried out at the University of Eastern Finland. The risk of developing elevated blood pressure was nearly 50% lower among men who had a sauna 4-7 times a week compared to men who had a sauna only once a week. These findings were published recently in the American Journal of Hypertension. Learn more at University of Eastern Finland.
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