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Should You Worry When Your Blood Pressure Spikes?

Most people with hypertension are able to maintain their blood pressure within a reasonable range. Occasionally, though, blood pressure can rapidly soar to unforeseen heights. If your systolic pressure hits 180 millimeters of mercury (mmHg), or your diastolic pressure reaches 120 mmHg, you need to know what to do. “If you are not having significant […]

Maintaining Blood Pressure Can Be a Challenge on Hemodialysis

Uncontrolled hypertension is a major cause of kidney disease. Over time, high blood pressure damages the small filters in the kidneys, reducing their ability to remove waste products from the blood. When the kidneys stop working, dialysis takes over the job of cleaning the blood and eliminating excess fluid in the body. Dialysis is a lifesaver […]

Ask the Doctors: Annual Stress Test ; What to do about low blood pressure?;...

Do I need to have a stress test every year? In short, the answer is no. We used to recommend regular exercise stress tests for patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) and those who had undergone revascularization. Today, we generally recommend stress tests be done at wider intervals, or when these patients develop new symptoms. […]

Take Your Blood Pressure at Home

Blood pressure is pretty easy to figure out. All it takes is a few seconds with an inflatable cuff wrapped around your bicep, and you know whether it’s normal, above normal or too high. Or so you think. Blood pressure fluctuates continuously, so your blood pressure at any moment in time may be very different […]

Heart Beat: April 2020

One Blood-Pressure Drug Appears to Reduce the Risk of Gout Gout may be the subject of ridicule, but more than 7 million adults in the United States suffer from the painful condition. Gout occurs when uric acid crystals circulating in the blood settle in the joints, causing sudden pain, swelling and stiffness. Gout is commonly […]

Ask the Doctors: February 2020

I take medications for blood pressure control. My friend read that it is best to take them at bedtime. Is this true? If so, why? Adequate control of high blood pressure (BP) is important to protect against heart attack and stroke. Many BP meds are long-acting for ease of use and once-daily dosing, which is […]

Heart Beat: January 2020

Taking Blood Pressure Medications at Bedtime May Be Helpful Many patients with high blood pressure require multiple medications in different classes to bring their blood pressure down into an acceptable range. Normalizing blood pressure is necessary to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. A large study conducted in Spain and reported in the […]

Should You Worry About Potassium?

If you have heart or kidney disease, you may need to take extra measures to maintain normal levels of this important mineral. By Holly Strawbridge Do you remember what you learned about potassium in science class? You were taught it’s a soft metal, a mineral and one of the most abundant elements on earth. But […]

Download The Full March 2019 Issue PDF

The average American consumes 3,500 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day-far more than the American Heart Association recommendation of no more than 1,500 mg, or about one teaspoon, of salt. Because this amount is so strict, Cleveland Clinic sets the limit at 2,300 mg. "The difference in effect is only a drop of 2 to 3 mmHg," says Dr. Laffin. "At minimum, we recommend lowering sodium intake by at least 1,000 mg per day."

Heart Beat: February 2019

Obese individuals tend to have other risk factors for heart attack and stroke, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. That has caused the role of obesity as a cardiovascular risk factor to be questioned. A study spearheaded at Cleveland Clinic suggests that it is. The authors conducted a meta-analysis of five studies with a total of 900,000 participants in which a genetic polymorphism associated with obesity was used to determine its potential link to cardiovascular outcomes. They found that as body-mass index rose above the mean, risk of type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease (CAD) rose with it. No connection between obesity and stroke was seen. Although these results do not prove that obesity causes diabetes and CAD, they strongly suggest that obesity increases the risk these issues will develop (JAMA Network Open, November 2018).

Tips for Taking Accurate Blood Pressure Readings at Home

Blood pressure fluctuates predictably over a 24-hour period in response to Circadian rhythms and cortisol levels. A sharp rise occurs at 4 a.m. Blood pressure peaks between 6 a.m. and noon, drops around 1 to 2 p.m. It peaks again around 5 to 6 p.m., then drops by 15 percent overnight.

Stay Active After a Heart Attack

If you were not active before your heart attack, its particularly important that you make exercise a priority. If you were active before your heart attack, dont be afraid to resume the same activities, once you get clearance from your physician, he says. The best way to do this is to enroll in a cardiac rehab program. In fact, we recommend cardiac rehab for all patients after a heart attack.