Exercise Can Help Reduce High Blood Pressure

October 1, 2008 – 3:25 pm

Exercise and High Blood PressureMost people know that exercise is good for you, but a recent study suggested that nearly two-thirds of doctors do not tell their at-risk patients (such as high blood pressure sufferers) to partake in regular exercise according to an article in last weekend’s Parade Magazine.

In addition to regular exercise for those with hypertension (high blood pressure), a low-salt diet is recommended which can lessen the chances of heart disease and stroke.

Happily, other ways to reduce high blood pressure were entirely more pleasant depending on one’s point of view.

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Loving Touch, Stress Reduction and Blood Pressure

October 1, 2008 – 2:52 pm

Study on Loving Touch and Blood PressureTouching – the nonsexual type – may lead to lowering of stress levels and blood pressure according to researchers at Brigham Young University and recently highlighted in an article in the Chicago Sun-Times.

According to Brigham Young psychology professor Julianne Holt-Lunstad, the study, which will be published in the Oct. 14 issue of the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, shows that caring touch and massage leads to the lowering of stress hormones as well as blood pressure and it “enhances oxytocin, a hormone thought to calm and counter stress.”

This is the sort of study that many would have enjoyed.

20 married couples gave each other a 30-minute massage, three days per week, at home.

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New Insurance Requires Free Blood Pressure Check

September 20, 2008 – 5:45 pm

As health care costs in the United States continue to skyrocket, health care providers are scrambling to find ways to get plan participants to take better care of themselves including those who suffer from high blood pressure.

One such idea to get patients to monitor their health more is occurring in Alabama where premium costs are pegged to whether or not a plan participant decides to see a doctor if they are found to have medical problems according to a report from CNN.

By 2010, Alabama state employees will be faced with a premium of $50, double what they have been paying. But, if they go for regular wellness checkups, they can cut their premium in half.

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Stroke Drug May Be Used for High Blood Pressure

September 20, 2008 – 5:14 pm

A clot-dissolving drug, tPA (tissue plasminogen activator), can be used on stroke patients in need of high blood pressure treatment says the American Heart Association. Consequently, they have updated their stroke guidelines according to U.S. News and World Report.

In a recent research study, the study leader Dr. Sean I. Savitz, co-director of the stroke center at the University of Texas Medical School, said that it was important to find out how aggressively a patient can be treated for high blood pressure and a stroke.

It had been previously thought that the tPA drug would cause excessive bleeding in patients with high blood pressure. Dr. Savitz study told a different story. He said:

“We finally know it’s OK, because the bleeding rates were not different, and the outcome rates were not different” in those who did or did not get blood pressure treatment.

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Salt Not Recommended for Certain Hypertension Sufferers

September 20, 2008 – 4:13 pm

Treatment Resistant High Blood Pressure and SaltAccording to another study released at the American Heart Association’s Conference of the Council for High Blood Pressure Research, salt intake should be minimized by those who suffer from treatment-resistant high blood pressure.

Dr. Eduardo Pimenta from the Dante Pazzanese Institute of Cardiology, Sao Paulo, Brazil, told Reuters Health that test subjects who had a lot of salt in their diet and treatment-resistant hypertension (high blood pressure) had been shown to be negatively affected by salt.

In the study on which Pimenta was reporting, 13 adults with treatment-resistant hypertension were given restricted-salt diets and constantly monitored for blood pressure readings. In a “crossover” study, both low and high salt diets were tested.

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Music May Help Your Blood Pressure

September 18, 2008 – 11:06 am

High Blood Pressure and Music

High Blood Pressure and Music

Jean Tang, an assistant professor at the College of Nursing at Seattle University in Washington, was part of a team that recently studied the effects of music on patients exhibiting high blood pressure and the surprising results according to an article in the Detroit Free Press.

Yesterday, Tang presented her team’s findings to the American Heart Association‘s annual fall conference of the Council for High Blood Pressure Research.

In a test with a sample of 41 retirees who participated 3 times a week for four months, it was found that those who listened to a relaxing recording were able to take their systolic blood pressure down 9 points.

For those who listened to Mozart, specifically, the results were still impressive with a reduction of 7.

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Study: Beta Blockers Don’t Prevent Heart Failure for Those With Hypertension

September 17, 2008 – 12:15 pm
Beta Blockers and Hypertension

Beta Blockers and Hypertension

A recent study covered in the Sept. 16 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology suggests that beta blockers do not help prevent heart failure in patients with hypertension, the medical term for high blood pressure.

For the study, BusinessWeek said that it was led by Dr. Franz H. Messerli, a Columbia cardiologist, with 12 controlled trials involving 112,000 people with high blood pressure.

Compared to the placebo, Dr. Marrick Kukin, who was also on the study team and a professor of clinical medicine at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, says that there was “benefit” from the beta blockers. But, when compared to other available drugs such as ACE inhibitors there was no benefit and an increased risk of stroke in older patients.

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