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Pay Close Attention to Widely Fluctuating Blood Pressure

But when blood pressure regularly spikes higher than normal, it's a sign that something is not right. Doctors call the condition labile hypertension, and it merits investigation.

Should You Undergo Preventive Ultrasound Screenings?

"It is important for anyone who receives this warning to go immediately to the emergency room for treatment to prevent a stroke from occurring," says M. Shazam Hussain, MD, Director of Cleveland Clinic's Cerebrovascular Center."The highest risk for stroke is within two days after the TIA, so no one should wait to get checked."

In The News: September 2019

Many people take glucosamine supplements to relieve joint pain from osteoarthritis. The good news is that this practice may offer some protection against heart attack and stroke, as well. British researchers surveyed more than 466,000 patients, none of whom had been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease at the time. As reported in BMJ May 14, 2019, during the next seven years there were 5,745 heart attacks, 3,263 strokes and 3,060 cardiovascular deaths in the group. After adjusting for other risk factors, habitual glucosamine use was associated with a significantly lower risk of all types of fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular events.

Download The Full September 2019 Issue PDF

We all know people who seem younger or older than the number of birthdays theyve had. Youll hear someone say, Shes a young 80, or He looks 10 years older than he is. Thats because chronological age-the number of years you have been alive-does not always correspond with physiological age, or how fast your body is aging.

Do You Know Why You Have Gained Weight? Many Don’t.

The survey polled a cross section of 1,002 adults. The majority (88 percent) said they were aware of the connection between a healthy weight and a healthy heart, and 65 percent said they were worried about getting heart disease. Yet when the researchers probed further, smaller percentages understood the relationship between individual risk factors for heart disease and obesity:

Tricks for Managing Fatigue Caused by Heart Failure

Eliminate added sugar. If you are already restricting salt intake, make sure you are eating high-quality carbohydrates, such as whole grains. Eliminate added sugar in the form of sugar-sweetened beverages, jelly, syrup, candy, baked goods and desserts. "It's tempting to reach for sugary treats for the quick energy they provide, but in the long run, they will cause your blood sugar to drop and you'll feel more tired," Zumpano explains.

What to Do When Bad Genes Threaten Your Heart Health

If a first-degree male relative (father, uncle or brother) was diagnosed with coronary artery disease or cerebrovascular disease, or had a heart attack or stroke before age 55, or a first-degree female relative (mother, aunt or sister) was diagnosed before age 65, you have a significant family history of cardiovascular disease and are at increased risk yourself. You should be screened for blood pressure and cholesterol as early as possible and have regular checkups.

In The News: August 2019

What's your systolic blood pressure? The answer may depend on whether the reading is taken in your upper arm or wrist. Researchers have found the variation to be as large as 20 mmHg in 14 percent of the people tested. On average, a reading taken in the radial artery at the wrist was 5.5 mmHg higher than that taken in the brachial artery on the bicep. This could have implications for who is given anti-hypertension drugs, the authors said online March 25, 2019, in Hypertension.

Download The Full August 2019 Issue PDF

A key differentiator is the intensity of pain.In the movies, heart-attack victims often clutch their chest and grimace in pain before collapsing. But it is unusual for a heart attack to produce intense pain. Heart-attack pain is generally described as an unrelenting sensation of pressure, like an elephant sitting on your chest.

In The News: July 2019

If you use sleeping pills and have hypertension, you may find it increasingly difficult to control your blood pressure. A study of older adults found an association between regular use of sleeping pills and the need for more antihypertension medication. Researchers enrolled 752 participants between 2008 and 2010 and followed them through 2012 and 2013. At the start of the study, 37 percent of the participants said they slept poorly, and 16.5 percent used sleeping pills on a regular basis. The mean number of antihypertension drugs used was 1.8. During the study, almost 20.7 percent of the participants increased the number of blood pressure medications they took. As reported online March 25, 2019, in Geriatrics & Gerontology International, the researchers found no connection between difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep and change in the use of blood pressure medication. However, they did find consistent use of sleeping pills was connected to higher risk of needing to add additional antihypertension medications to control blood pressure.

How to Protect Yourself Against Heart and Vascular Disease

Individually, each risk factor had less of an impact on the ability to predict a heart attack or other CV event as the participants grew older. However, high SBP and high cholesterol were so prevalent that their contribution could not be overlooked. The researchers determined that if every participant had lowered their SBP to normal and their LDL cholesterol by 30 percent, the number of heart attacks would have dropped substantially.

Heart Specialists

Heart Failure Specialists: Due to the complex nature of heart failure, patients with this disorder may benefit from seeing a heart-failure specialist. These specialty cardiologists have experience and expertise in managing symptoms and delaying the progression of heart failure. When symptoms reach a certain degree of severity, a heart failure specialist will provide counsel on sophisticated treatments such as a left ventricular assist device or heart transplantation.