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Many People With High Blood Pressure May Take a Drug That Worsens It: Study

MONDAY, Nov. 29, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly 1 in 5 people with hypertension may be unintentionally taking a drug for another condition that causes their blood pressure to climb even higher, a new study suggests.

Left untreated or undertreated, high blood pressure will increase your risk for heart attack, stroke, kidney disease and vision problems by damaging blood...

Advances in Care, Impact of COVID Highlights of Latest Cardiologists' Meeting

The COVID-19 pandemic, heart-healthy eating, and better ways to treat and prevent heart disease were among the hot topics that emerged during the American Heart Association's annual meeting this week.

"I was at the sessions yesterday, I was actually in clinic this morning, and there were things I learned at the sessions that are affecting how I care for my patients," Dr. Manesh Patel, cha...

A Little Coffee May Be Healthy in Pregnancy

Many women dread having to give up coffee during their pregnancy, but new research suggests that consuming a little caffeine while expecting might not necessarily be a bad thing.

"While we were not able to study the association of consumption above the recommended limit, we now know that low-to-moderate caffeine is not associated with an increased risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsi...

Hospitalizations for Spikes in Blood Pressure Are on the Rise

Despite a nationwide effort to control blood pressure, the number of seniors hospitalized for a sudden, sharp rise in blood pressure surged over the last two decades in the United States.

The largest increase was among Black Americans, with the highest rates in the South, new research shows.

The aim of the study was to "evaluate whether we have made any progress in the last 20 years...

Why Are Young Black Americans Becoming Less Heart-Healthy?

Young, Black Americans are experiencing significant spikes in obesity, type 2 diabetes and smoking, all risk factors for heart attack and stroke.

Between 2007 and 2017 -- before the COVID-19 pandemic and the concerns it has created -- hospitalized Black Americans aged 18 to 44 had sharp increases in these risks. They were also having higher rates of health complications and poor hospital...

Firefighters' Blood Pressure Can Rise When Duty Calls

Working in an already dangerous environment, the blood pressure of firefighters jumps when they get an emergency call, new research shows.

That could be risky for those who already have high blood pressure, experts say.

"All emergency and first responders should be aware of their health," said senior author Deborah Feairheller, director of the clinical cardiac program at the Univer...

Could 'Brown Fat' Make Some Obese People Healthier?

All body fat is not the same.

And a new study suggests that folks who have more of what's known as brown fat may have a lower risk of weight-related health problems, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

"Brown fat has long been thought to benefit metabolism because, unlike the much more common white storage...

Insomnia Tied to Raised Risk of Aneurysm

Researchers may have unearthed a surprising risk factor for often-fatal brain bleeds: Sleepless nights.

In a study of about 70,000 adults, researchers found that people with a genetic predisposition to insomnia were at somewhat higher risk of a brain aneurysm. An aneurysm is a weak spot in an artery wall that bulges out and fills with blood. In some cases, it can rupture and cause life-th...

China, U.S. Lead World in Saltiest Processed Meats, Fish

China and the United States are super powers of salt consumption.

The two world leaders emerged with the highest salt levels in processed meat and fish products among five countries assessed in a new study.

High salt levels in food is a major cause of high blood pressure and its related risks of heart and kidney diseases and death. The World Health Organization recommends a maximum ...

FDA Reduces Recommended Salt Levels in Americans' Food

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Wednesday that it is lowering the recommended levels of sodium in processed, packaged and prepared foods.

The goal of the new, voluntary guideline is to help reduce Americans' average sodium intake from 3,400 milligrams (mg) to 3,000 mg per day — roughly a 12% reduction — over the next 2.5 years.

"It's really a pivotal day for the...

Lengthening Menstrual Cycles Near Menopause Could Predict Heart Health

The length of a woman's menstrual cycle as she nears menopause could reflect her future risk of heart disease, researchers report.

Some women's menstrual cycles become longer as they approach menopause, while others' cycles remain stable. This new study found that the women whose cycle increased in length two years before menopause had better measures of vascular health than those who had...

Many Older Americans Who Should Be Checking Blood Pressure at Home Aren't: Poll

If you are over 50 and you have high blood pressure or a health condition for which blood pressure control is essential, at-home blood pressure checks can avert medical emergencies.

The trouble is that too few of these people actually perform them, a new survey reveals.

"This poll shows that we have more work to do to encourage older adults with certain chronic health conditions to ...

Two Meds Better Than One for Many With High Blood Pressure: Study

Nearly half of Americans have high blood pressure and only 24% have it under control, but what's the best way to treat it -- one high-dose pill or two at a lower dose?

A large new study suggests that two medications may be better than one for many older patients. Lowering elevated blood pressure to a sustainable level is important because it reduces a patient's risk of heart attack, strok...

Shape, Size of Brain Arteries May Predict Stroke Risk

The size and shape of the blood vessels in your brain may help predict your risk of an often-fatal type of stroke, called an aneurysm, a new study finds.

An aneurysm is a bulge in an artery wall.

"A subarachnoid hemorrhage is the most dangerous type of stroke and occurs when a brain aneurysm leaks or ruptures, causing bleeding into the brain, killing more than 50% of affected peop...

Obese? Lose Lots of Weight, Watch Your Heart Risks Drop

It's no secret that excess weight is bad for the heart. But a new study suggests that obese people who lose a substantial amount of weight may reverse the related cardiovascular risks.

Researchers found the odds for high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol were similar in formerly obese Americans who were now at a healthy weight and people who had always had a healthy weight.

D...

What Blood Sugar Levels Best Protect Against Heart Trouble in Those With Diabetes?

For people with diabetes who have a stroke, there may be an ideal blood sugar target to prevent another one or a heart attack, a South Korean study finds.

To determine average blood sugar levels over the past two to three months, the study team used the hemoglobin A1C test.

"We know that having diabetes may be associated with an increased risk of having a first stroke," said study a...

Older Women, Younger Men Struggle More to Control High Blood Pressure

Roughly a third of Americans on high blood pressure medications do not have their blood pressure under control, a new study reveals.

And younger men and older women are particularly vulnerable, researchers warn.

"Although this phenomenon has been hinted at in the medical literature, it is a bit surprising to me as we should not expect anyone to have uncontrolled blood pressure, espe...

Better Diet, More Exercise Equals Better Blood Pressure

People with high blood pressure that doesn't respond to treatment may have more success by following the DASH diet and joining a supervised diet and exercise program, a new study suggests.

DASH is short for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension — a regimen rich in fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products and limited salt.

Duke University researchers found it can help people w...

Smartphone Apps May Aid in Heart Attack Recovery

After a heart attack, a smartwatch app may help keep patients from being hospitalized again, researchers say.

The app helps patients keep track of medications and make lifestyle changes. It may also reduce rehospitalization in the month after discharge by half, according to a new report.

The American Heart Association says one in six heart attack patients returns to the hospital w...

Diabetes Drug Might Help Women With Preeclampsia Prolong Their Pregnancy

Metformin, a commonly prescribed diabetes drug, may help stave off preterm birth among women who develop pregnancy-related high blood pressure.

Preeclampsia is marked by a sudden spike in blood pressure, protein in urine, or other problems during pregnancy. Preterm preeclampsia occurs between 26 and 32 weeks of pregnancy and often leads to early delivery, putting babies at risk. Preemies ...

Dairy Foods May Be Good for You After All

You remember the ad. It asked if you've "got milk?" and said that "milk does a body good."

So, does it? New research suggests it might.

In the study, people who consumed more dairy fat actually had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease than those who drank or ate less dairy, CNN reported.

"Increasing evidence suggests that the health impact of dairy foods ...

4 Out of 10 Adults With No Known Heart Disease Have Fatty Hearts: Study

Many middle-aged adults with apparently healthy hearts have a "silent" buildup of fatty deposits in their arteries, a large, new study shows.

Researchers found that of more than 25,000 50- to 64-year-olds, about 42% had signs of atherosclerosis — a buildup of "plaques" in the arteries that can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

That was despite the fact that none had any history of...

AHA News: A Year of Committed Exercise in Middle Age Reversed Worrisome Heart Stiffness

A year of exercise training helped to preserve or increase the youthful elasticity of the heart muscle among people showing early signs of heart failure, a small study shows.

The new research, published Sept. 20 in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, bolsters the idea that "exercise is medicine," an important shift in approach, the researchers wrote.

The stu...

Common Eye Conditions Tied to Higher Risk for Dementia

Diseases that can rob you of vision as you age also appear to be tied to an increased risk for dementia, a new study finds.

Specifically, age-related macular degeneration, cataracts and diabetes-related eye disease were linked with a higher likelihood of dementia, researchers in China said. However, one other common eye ailment, glaucoma, was not linked to dementia risk.

The new st...

More Evidence That Stress Gets Blood Pressure Rising

MONDAY, Sept. 13, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- If you often feel stressed out, your blood pressure may rise over time alongside higher odds for other heart concerns, a new study indicates.

Researchers found adults with normal blood pressure but high levels of stress hormones were more likely to develop high blood pressure in six to seven years than those with lower stress hormone levels.

...

Heading to the Mountains? Heart Patients Should Check With Their Doctor First

If the Alps or the Rockies are on your bucket list, check with your doctor first if you're at risk for cardiovascular disease.

New advice from the American Heart Association (AHA) suggests certain people take precautions before going to high altitude places.

These recommendations apply to folks with high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, heart rhythm abnormalities (arrhy...

Breastfeeding May Strengthen a Baby's Heart

Breast milk can give preemies' hearts a big boost, a groundbreaking study suggests.

"This study … adds to the already known benefits of breast milk for infants born prematurely," said study leader Dr. Afif El-Khuffash, a clinical professor of pediatrics at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) University of Medicine and Health Sciences in Dublin.

He said the findings off...

4-in-1 Blood Pressure Pill Could Improve Outcomes

A four-in-one pill containing "ultra-low doses" of different medications can provide better blood pressure control than standard drug treatment, a new clinical trial from Australia shows.

About 80% of people given the "quadpill" achieved a healthy blood pressure of 140/90 within three months and continuing out to a year, compared to 60% of people who started on a single medication and add...

Getting Healthy After Heart Attack Could Add Over 7 Years to Life

Heart attack survivors could gain more than seven healthy years of life if they take the right medications and improve their lifestyle, new research estimates.

Unfortunately, studies have found, heart attack survivors rarely get optimal control over their risk factors.

The new research echoes that evidence: Of more than 3,200 patients, only 2% had their blood pressure, cholesterol a...

Why Water Is Key to Your Heart's Health

Everyone knows that drinking plenty of water every day can improve your health in a myriad of ways, but here's a lesser-known benefit: New research suggests that middle-aged adults can lower their long-term risk for heart failure by simply drinking enough water on a daily basis.

The finding follows an analysis that stacked heart health up against blood salt levels -- an indicator for over...

A Little Wine & Certain Foods Could Help Keep Blood Pressure Healthy

An apple and a pear a day may help keep blood pressure under control -- a benefit partly explained by gut bacteria, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that adults who regularly ate certain foods -- apples, pears, berries and red wine -- tended to have lower blood pressure than their peers.

One thing those foods have in common is a high content of antioxidant plant compounds cal...

Dangerous Diabetes Tied to Pregnancy Is on the Rise

Growing numbers of pregnant women are developing gestational diabetes, putting them and their babies at risk for complications later on.

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy in women who weren't already diabetic.

Between 2011 and 2019, rates of gestational diabetes in the United States jumped 30%, according to a large nationwide study of first-ti...

Wildfires Ravage Firefighters' Long-Term Physical, Mental Health

Roaring, fast-moving blazes. Choking smoke. Fiery tornados. Thunderstorms and lightning.

The Dixie Fire -- now the single largest wildfire in California history -- continues to spread, having burned through more than 750 square miles of forest land north of Sacramento.

The astonishing spread of smoke from the fire, causing discomfort and illness to people hundreds or thousands of mi...

Climate Change Worsens Wildfires, Bringing Poorer Health to All

Smoke from wildfires burning along the West Coast is choking the entire United States, reminding everyone of the hazards of climate change.

But that haze isn't just stinging your eyes and choking your breath -- it poses a direct threat to your health, experts say.

Wildfire smoke has been shown to increase risk of heart attacks and strokes, as well as lung ailments like asthma, Ameri...

Sleep Apnea Doubles Odds for Sudden Death

With apologies to William Shakespeare, this is the stuff bad dreams are made of: Sleep apnea may double your risk for sudden death.

The condition -- in which a person's airway is repeatedly blocked during sleep, causing pauses in breathing -- may also increase the risk for high blood pressure, coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure, new research shows.

"This [study] ad...

AHA News: Dangers of Life-Threatening Second Heart Attack May Be Highest Soon After the First

A first heart attack is a serious, life-changing event, although most people now survive them. But a new study underscores the importance of doing everything possible to avoid another one.

"It's like taking another hit," said Dr. Umesh Khot, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. "One heart attack is a lot, and having another one is a big hit on the heart."

Khot is lead aut...

High Blood Pressure: Which Drug Works Best for You?

Two long used types of blood pressure drugs are equally effective, but the less popular one seems to have fewer side effects, according to a large "real-world" study.

The two classes of medication are both recommended as "first-line" treatments for high blood pressure: angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs).

ACE inhibitors have been a...

The Heat Is On: Staying Safe When Temperatures Soar

Midsummer heat and high humidity aren't just uncomfortable -- they're a combo that can cause serious illness and even death.

"Whenever you walk or do outdoor activity, take a friend with you who can help you if you run into trouble," Dr. Eleanor Dunham advised. She's an emergency medicine doctor at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pa.

Babies and seniors...

Stronger Hearts, Better Outcomes in Pregnancy: Study

Thinking of starting a family? Start getting your heart in shape. New research suggests that how healthy a woman's heart is before conception affects outcomes in her pregnancy.

Study author Dr. Sadiya Khan said the findings make a case for more comprehensive heart assessments prior to pregnancy rather than focusing on isolated individual risk factors, such as high blood pressure ("hyperte...

Eating Meat Raises Risk of Heart Disease: Study

Eating beef, lamb, pork and processed meats spells trouble for your heart, and the more you eat, the worse it gets, new research warns.

The meta-analysis -- an overview of data from a large number of studies -- included more than 1.4 million people who were followed for 30 years. It found that for each 1.75 ounces of beef, lamb and pork consumed, the risk of heart disease rose 9%, CNN...

Breastfed Babies Have Healthier Blood Pressure as Kids

Here's another reason for new moms to give breastfeeding a try: Toddlers who were breastfed for even a few days have lower blood pressure than those who always got a bottle, research finds.

And lower blood pressure at an early age may lead to a healthier heart and blood vessels in adulthood, researchers said.

The new study is believed to be the first to investigate breastfeeding in...

5-Minute Daily Breathing Exercise May Equal Meds in Lowering Blood Pressure

A quick daily "workout" for the breathing muscles may help people lower their blood pressure to a similar degree as exercise or even medication, a small study suggests.

The technique is called inspiratory muscle strength training (IMST), and it involves using a device that provides resistance as the user inhales -- essentially working out the diaphragm and other breathing muscles.

R...

Wealth & Health: How Big Financial Changes Affect Your Heart

The state of your finances may affect more than your pocketbook.

So claims new research that suggests a loss of wealth is associated with an increased risk of heart problems, while a boost in finances is associated with a lower risk.

"Low wealth is a risk factor that can dynamically change over a person's life and can influence a person's cardiovascular health status," said stu...

Sleep Apnea in Childhood a Bad Sign for Teenage Heart Health

Teens who've had sleep apnea since childhood have a much higher risk of high blood pressure than those who never had sleep apnea, new research shows.

"Our study showed that pediatric sleep apnea can act as a gateway to future hypertension," said study author Julio Fernandez-Mendoza, an associate professor in Penn State's Sleep Research and Treatment Center.

The U.S. National Heart, ...

Can Your Blood Pressure Medicine Protect Your Memory?

Older adults who use certain blood pressure drugs may retain more of their memory skills as they age, a new study suggests.

Researchers found the benefit among older people taking medications that are allowed past the "blood-brain barrier," which is a border of specialized cells that prevents toxic substances from crossing into the brain.

Those drugs include certain ACE inhibitors a...

Mom's Blood Pressure in Pregnancy Could Affect Child's Stroke Risk Decades Later

Expectant mothers' high blood pressure heightens kids' risk of stroke later in life, a Swedish study finds.

"Our findings indicate that hypertensive disorders during pregnancy are associated with increased risks of stroke and potentially heart disease in offspring up to the age of 41 years," said study author Fen Yang, a doctoral student at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

The stu...

Losing Weight Can Beat Diabetes and Also Help the Heart

An aggressive weight-loss program not only achieves remission of type 2 diabetes, but may also end the need for blood pressure medications, new research shows.

"Our study shows that, in addition to possible remission from type 2 diabetes, there are other very important health benefits, as weight loss is a very effective treatment for hypertension [high blood pressure] and its associated s...

Low-Salt 'DASH' Diet Good for Total Heart Health

It's consistently rated high among diets for all-around health, and a new report finds the DASH diet is all-around good for your heart, too.

The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) regimen is designed to lower high blood pressure, but this new research shows that it also reduces inflammation, heart injury and strain.

The study provides "some of the strongest evidence that...

Fat Around Your Heart Could Be Especially Deadly

Too much fat around your heart could increase your risk of heart failure, especially if you're a woman, researchers warn.

They looked at nearly 7,000 45- to 84-year-olds across the United States who had no evidence of heart disease on initial CT scans. Over more than 17 years of followup, nearly 400 developed heart failure.

High amounts of fat around the heart -- pericardial fat -- ...

Elections Can Be Tough on Americans' Hearts

A U.S. presidential election can be hard on your heart.

That's the takeaway from two new studies that look back on the 2016 race between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton.

For one, researchers investigated heart rhythm disorders in more than 2,400 adults in North Carolina (average age: 70.8 years) who had implanted defibrillators or pacemakers that could be monit...