Blood Pressure

Stroke Risks, Whole Grains, Blood Pressure, and Music for Anxiety

Unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, a sedentary lifestyle, and a poor diet, account for more days of stroke disability than traditional risk factors, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Including more whole grains in your diet may help reduce your odds of dying from cardiovascular disease, some cancers and many other causes. Individuals who had substantial blood pressure fluctuations over a five-year period experienced faster declines in cognitive function and brain health, compared with those who maintained a more consistent blood pressure during that same time. Listening to relaxing music every day may help you cope better emotionally and physically after a heart attack.

Tracking Blood Pressure Over Time May Reveal Future Events

Your pattern of systolic blood pressure from middle age onward may provide a more accurate snapshot of your risk of stroke and other hypertension-related complications than a single high blood pressure reading. Thats according to a study published recently in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension. Researchers devised some common trajectories for blood pressure readings, and noted the risks associated with each one.

Hypertensive Urgency Doesnt Always Require Hospitalization

The rate of major adverse cardiovascular events, such as stroke or heart attack, is relatively low among patients who experience hypertensive urgency. Because of that, these patients can be safely treated with outpatient care instead of being hospitalized, according to a Cleveland Clinic study published recently. Hypertensive urgency is a situation in which your systolic blood pressure (the top number in your blood pressure reading) is at least 180 mm Hg or your diastolic pressure (bottom number) is at least 110 mm Hg.

Heart Beat: July 2016

Unlike the traditional heart attacks that are accompanied by chest pain and other symptoms, silent heart attacks can occur multiple times without you even knowing it. An observational study of more than 90,000 older adults who suffered falls suggests that starting new blood pressure-lowering medications or intensifying existing anti-hypertensive therapy may raise the risk of falls. Rosuvastatin (Crestor) is the latest cholesterol-lowering statin drug to have a generic competitor on the market.

What You Should Know to Better Manage Your Blood Thinners

Taking an anticoagulant such as warfarin (Coumadin) may help prevent the formation of a life-threatening blood clot. Antiplatelet drugs, such as aspirin, may also keep your circulation healthy, reducing your odds of a heart attack or stroke.

Study Shows Heart Attack Patients Are Younger, Sicker

In a review of nearly 4,000 heart attack patient histories, Samir Kapadia, MD, section head of Invasive and Interventional Cardiology at Cleveland Clinic, and his team found that rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes are much higher now among people who suffer heart attacks.

Research Shows Bariatric Surgery Provides Long-Term Benefits

Bariatric surgery may have lasting benefits for obese individuals trying to control their blood glucose levels. Cleveland Clinics STAMPEDE trial found that the weight-loss surgerys positive effects may last at least five years or more for mild and moderately obese patients with type 2 diabetes.

Heart Beat: April 2016

In 2014, the Eighth Joint National Committee (JNC 8) issued a report that proposed a systolic blood pressure of 150 mmHg as the level at which anti-hypertensive treatment should start in older adults. If a cup of coffee with breakfast or an iced tea with lunch is part of your regular routine, a recent study suggests that your moderate caffeine intake isnt likely to cause extra heartbeats. An analysis of medical records of more than 33,000 adults age 50 and older found that those with recent asthma activity were more likely than non-asthmatics to experience abdominal aortic anuerysm rupture and sudden death.

Is Grapefruit Safe to Eat with Statins?

Fortunately, the answer for many individuals on statins is that grapefruits are safe as long as theyre consumed in moderation. The type of statin you take may also be a factor in determining whether grapefruit should be a part of your breakfast.

New Dietary Guidelines Stress Less Sugar, Saturated Fat Intake

Every five years the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture issue Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The recommendations are based on the latest research on nutrition and public health. The guidelines released at the beginning of January, like those issued in years past, have their share of critics and supporters. The latest edition received some criticism from health experts for not urging less red meat consumption, for example.

Less Sodium for Better Blood Pressure

If youre like most Americans, youre consuming way too much salt. A recent report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that about 89 percent of adults in the U.S. consume more than the recommended amounts of sodium each day. In addition, the new dietary guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Department of Health and Human Services recommend limiting sodium consumption to no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day. Individuals with high blood pressure or other cardiovascular risk factors should consider lowering their intake even further.

March 2016

Approved alternatives to Coumadin (collectively known as NOACs) for anticoagulation in the setting of atrial fibrillation include dabigatran, rivaroxaban, apixaban, and edoxaban. When compared to warfarin they have all been at least as effective at reducing the risk of stroke and blood clots and are associated with similar or lower bleeding complications. There is little disagreement that adults should undergo cholesterol screening. The question of if and when to screen children has been more contentious.