10 tips to manage high BP without pills

Hypertension on the high? Here are top 10 tips to get it down and keep it down.

Seven in 10 adults are at a greater risk of stroke or heart attack because their blood pressure is too high. Desk jobs, lack of exercise and eating salty fast foods have contributed to the problem, even among the young. If your level is consistently at or above 140mmHg/ 90mmHg (referred to as 140 over 90). The 140 figure is the systolic pressure — the pressure reached when the heart forces the blood around the body — and 90 is the diastolic pressure — the lowest pressure that occurs between heartbeats when the heart relaxes.

In India, experts say, the prevalence of hypertension ranges from 20-40 per cent in urban adults and 12-17 per cent among rural adults. But there’s no reason to worry. Simple measures will help to cut your risk.

1. Go for a weekly jog
Jogging for just an hour a week can increase your life expectancy by six years, according to a Copenhagen City Heart cardiovascular study of around 20,000 men and women aged from 20 to 93.

Researchers believe jogging delivers multiple health benefits, improving oxygen uptake and lowering blood pressure, as well as many more benefits. However, any physical activity can help lower blood pressure by strengthening the heart so it can pump more blood with less effort, thereby decreasing the force on the arteries. Power walking can be just as effective as jogging.

2. Enjoy yoghurt
Just one small pot a day can reduce your chances of developing high blood pressure by a third, according to a study presented at the University of Minnesota in the US. Scientists think naturally occurring calcium can make blood vessels more supple, enabling them to expand slightly and keep pressure low.

They found those who ate a 120g pot daily were 31 per cent less likely to develop high blood pressure over a 15-year period than those who did not.

3. Go bananas
Eating potassium-rich foods, such as bananas, and reducing salt intake could save thousands of lives every year, according to a new study published in the British Medical Journal online.
Potassium is an important mineral that controls the balance of fluids in the body and helps to lower blood pressure. Making sure you eat five.

4. Down with salt
Salt draws in fluid, raising the volume and pressure of blood in your arteries. But it’s not just the salt cellar you have to worry about — processed foods such as biscuits, breakfast cereals, takeaways and ready meals contain 80 per cent of the salt we consume, says the Blood Pressure Association. Check labels: more than 1.5g salt per 100g is a lot, but less than 0.3mg per 100g is a little.

5. Lose weight
Research has shown that dropping just a few kilos can have a substantial impact on your blood pressure. Excess weight makes your heart work harder and this strain can lead to high blood pressure.

6. Don’t smoke
The nicotine in cigarettes stimulates your body to produce adrenaline, making your heart beat faster and raises your blood pressure, making your heart work harder.

7. Work less
Regularly putting in 40 hours per week at the office raises your risk of hypertension by 14 per cent, the University of California, US, found.The risk rises with overtime. Compared with those who worked fewer than 40 hours a week, workers who clocked up more than 51 hours were 29 per cent more likely to have high blood pressure. Overtime makes it hard to exercise and eat healthily, say researchers. So try to down tools with enough time to relax in the evening and eat a healthy supper. Set a message on your computer as a reminder to go home.

8. Seek help for snoring
Loud, incessant snoring is a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea. And more than half of those with this have blood pressure significantly higher than expected for their age and general health.

Cutting out cigarettes and alcohol and losing weight will help.

9. Switch to decaf
Duke University Medical Center, North Carolina, US, found caffeine consumption of 500mg, roughly three cups, increased blood pressure by three points. Effects lasted until bedtime.

Scientists say that caffeine can raise blood pressure by tightening blood vessels and magnifying the effects of stress.

10. Think beetroot
A study published in the journal Hypertension found drink ing a 250ml cup of the juice can cut blood pressure readings in those with high blood pressure by around seven per cent. It’s thought the effect is produced by beetroot’s naturally high levels of nitrate. Eating other-rich foods — cab bage and spinach — might also help

Source: Viral news chart

High blood pressure continues to be a bigger problem in Southeastern US


One third of U.S. adults have high blood pressure, but in the southeastern part of the country the rate is well over half, according to a new study that finds too little is being done to reverse the problem.

The Southeast has been called the Stroke Belt because of well-known high rates of cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure. But that knowledge has not led to changes, nor to a full understanding of the reasons for the population’s high risk, the study team reports.

“The rates have not changed,” though the U.S. has had treatment guidelines for high blood pressure since 1977, said one of the authors, Dr. Uchechukwu K. A. Sampson, an assistant professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

“The number of people who do not know that they have high blood pressure is the same,” he added.

High blood pressure is an established cause of death from cardiovascular disease and accounts for up to 7.5 million deaths worldwide each year, the researchers point out.

To investigate the persistently high rates of high blood pressure in the South, Sampson’s group used a large database with recent information on men and women in southern states covering the years 2002 to 2009.

They focused on 69,000 white and black adults with similarly low income and education levels – to eliminate poverty as a factor – and analyzed what other causes might be contributing to blood pressure problems.

Overall, they found that 57 percent of the study participants had high blood pressure. Blacks were nearly twice as likely as whites to be suffering from the disease, which has no symptoms of its own, but can lead to stroke or kidney damage if untreated.

But the racial difference was seen mainly among women. Fifty one percent of black and white men had high blood pressure, but the rates were 64 percent among black women and 52 percent among white women.

Obesity seemed to be a main driver of the problem, especially among whites, with the most severely obese having more than four times the risk of high blood pressure compared to normal weight men and woman.

Other factors linked to the likelihood of severe high blood pressure included high cholesterol, diabetes, a history of depression and a family history of heart disease.

The numbers Sampson’s group found have not changed from previous studies and that consistency is alarming, he said.

“Are they still the same factors people have found before?” Sampson said. “If they are, that is bad news, then that means we have not done what we should have done in the past few years.”

Of the study participants who knew they had high blood pressure, 94 percent were taking at least one blood pressure medication, which is a good thing, Sampson said. But only 30 percent were taking a diuretic medication that promotes water loss from the body. Diuretics should be one of the first-line medication options, the authors write.

Black people were twice as likely as whites to have high blood pressure without knowing it, Sampson said.

That racial difference did not change even when researchers accounted for differences in income and education, the authors write in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

All of this lines up with what doctors and researchers already knew, Sampson said.

Without specific studies, it’s hard to say why population rates have not gone down, and why so many people still do not know they have high blood pressure, and why so few are on diuretics, he said.

Women may not actually be more predisposed to high blood pressure, Sampson said, but they may be less aware of the risk than men.

Awareness efforts have historically focused on men when it comes to heart and blood pressure problems, but women are equally likely to have problems, he said.

“African American women are known to have a very high prevalence of hypertension and that its onset is significantly earlier than what is seen in white women,” Dr. John M. Flack said.

Flack is chair of the department of medicine at Wayne State University at the Detroit Medical Center in Michigan.

Source: news.nom

15% of common strokes occur in adolescents and young adults

A team of researcher including an Indian origin has suggested that 15 percent of the most common type of strokes occur in adolescents and young adults, and more young people are showing risk factors for such strokes.

Co-author neurologist Jose Biller of Loyola University Medical Center said that the impact of strokes in this age group is devastating to the adolescent or young adult, their families and society.

About 85 percent of all strokes are ischemic, meaning they are caused by blockages that block blood flow to the brain. And more young people have risk factors for ischemic strokes.

Those risks include high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, abnormal cholesterol levels, congenital heart disease and smoking.

Strokes in young people have a disproportionally large economic impact, because they can disable patients before their most productive years. And while coping with the shock of having a stroke, “younger survivors may be dealing with relationships, careers and raising children – issues that require additional awareness and resources,” the consensus report said.

Biller, one of the nation’s leading experts on stroke in young people, is second author of the consensus report. Biller is chair of the Department of Neurology of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. First author of the report is Aneesh Singhal, MD of Massachusetts General Hospital.

The study has been published in the journal Neurology.


Global gaps in high blood pressure knowledge, treatment

41 percent had consistently high blood pressure, but fewer than half of those people knew it.

It`s the leading contributor to deaths worldwide yet most people with high blood pressure don`t know they have the condition and even for those who do, treatment is mostly ineffective, according to a large new study.

Researchers examined more than 140,000 adults in 17 countries and found that about 41 percent had consistently high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, but fewer than half of those people knew it.

“We found that surprisingly many people didn`t realize their blood pressure was high,” lead author Clara Chow, from The George Institute for Global Health in Sydney, Australia, said.

Less than a third of those aware of their condition and getting treatment had their blood pressure under control, with poor and rural populations faring the worst.

“Whereas in high-income countries a larger proportion of people knew they had hypertension and were on treatment than people in low-income countries, the control problem was significant wherever you were,” Chow said.

Normal blood pressure is defined as a systolic reading (the top number) of 120 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or less and a diastolic reading (the bottom number) of 80 mm Hg or less.

The National Institutes of Health estimates that one in three U.S. adults has high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease, heart failure, stroke and kidney failure.

High blood pressure is the leading cause of heart disease and strokes, which are the top two causes of death worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.

Globally, hypertension is tied to “at least” 7.6 million deaths each year, Chow`s team writes in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

Despite the condition`s worldwide impact, Chow told Reuters Health, there hasn`t been much research on how it should be targeted to bring down the incidence of cardiovascular disease.

For the new study, she and her colleagues from several research centers around the world recruited 142,042 adults in 17 countries of varying income levels to be examined between January 2003 and December 2009.

They defined the condition either by a participant`s self report of having been diagnosed with hypertension, or by two blood pressure readings of at least 140/90 mm Hg.

Overall, 57,840 of the participants had high blood pressure, but only 26,877 were aware of their condition.

The vast majority of those who were aware were taking some sort of medication – often two medications – to treat high blood pressure, but only about one third were successfully controlling the disease.

“People who knew they had hypertension, about 88 percent were initiated on some sort of treatment. However the control of their blood pressure was poor,” Chow said.

When researchers looked at the results by country, they found that in high-income and upper-middle-income countries, around 50 percent of people with high blood pressure were aware of their condition and around 47 percent were getting treatment.

In comparison, in lower-income and lower-middle-income countries around 42 percent of people with hypertension were aware of it and about 34 percent were treated.

In poorer countries, awareness, treatment and control of high blood pressure were better in urban areas compared to rural ones, and among better educated people, the researchers note.

Dr. Jorge Plutzky, director of the Vascular Disease Prevention Program at Brigham and Women`s Hospital in Boston, said the new study confirms previous findings on blood pressure around the world and adds to what is known by showing the differences between urban and rural areas.

“I think it`s another stimulant to get a variety of groups to look at and think about this issue,” Plutzky, who was not involved in the new study, said.

For example, he said, international groups have been effective in combating a variety of infectious diseases throughout the world.

“We need those same kinds of groups to also start thinking about chronic diseases,” he said, adding that techniques developed overseas can also be brought back to rural areas in the U.S.

Chow said the focus should be on finding ways to detect high blood pressure in people in different places around the world, and removing barriers to treatment, including costs and transportation to and from doctors` offices.

Source: Zee News