Wednesday April 28, 2010
According to Brazil's health minister, Jose Gomes Temporao, the best way to battle high blood pressure in his country is sex.
"Adults need to do exercise: walk, dance and have safe sex," said Temporao. "It's not a joke. It's serious. Having regular physical exercises also means sex, always with protection, of course."
According to Temporao almost a quarter of the country has high blood pressure.That includes the country's president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who suffered a high blood pressure attack due to stress in January.
Brazil's hypertension problem is only slightly less severe than the United States, which is at 32 percent according to the Center for Disease Control.
Temporao's suggestion isn't so crazy. According to a 2006 study sexual intercourse was associated with less surges in blood pressure during stressful situations.
Thursday February 18, 2010
A recent study published in the journal Archives of Neurology found that high blood pressure may predict dementia in older adults who have impaired executive function - difficulty organizing thoughts and making decisions - but not for those with memory problems.
The study included 990 dementia-free participants, average age 83, who were followed for five years. During that time, dementia developed in 59.5 percent of those with and in 64.2 percent of those without high blood pressure. Similar rates were seen in participants with memory dysfunction alone and with both memory and executive dysfunction.
However, among those with executive dysfunction alone, the rate of dementia development was 57.7 percent among those with high blood pressure compared to 28 percent for those without high blood pressure, which is also called hypertension.
"We show herein that the presence of hypertension predicts progression to dementia in a subgroup of about one-third of subjects with cognitive impairment, no dementia," wrote the researchers at the University of Western Ontario in Canada. "Control of hypertension in this population could decrease by one-half the projected 50-percent five-year rate of progression to dementia."
The study author noted, the findings may prove important for elderly people with cognitive impairment but no dementia.
Wednesday September 17, 2008
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday sent a stern warning to drug maker Forest Laboratories about claims raised in advertisements for one of Forest's high blood pressure medications. An eight page ad for the drug Bystolic (nebivolol) claims that the drug is superior to other high blood pressure treatments and that it works in a novel way to combat the problems of high blood pressure.
The FDA disagrees, saying that there have never been any studies comparing Bystolic to other, similar, medicines, and that the claims made in Forest's advertisements cannot be substantiated with evidence.
On the FDA website Tuesday, a spokesperson commented that Forest's claims were dangerous to the public because they suggest "that Bystolic is safer and more effective" than it actually is.
Nebivolol is a type of beta blocker, one the most commonly prescribed medicines for the treatment of high blood pressure and heart disease.
Wednesday August 27, 2008
A common drug used to treat people suffering from gout might be the next big thing in treating teenagers with high blood pressure, according to data from a a new study.
The study, published by researchers from Baylor University and appearing in the new issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, examined how certain types of teenagers responded when treated with the drug allopurinol. Allopurinal is designed to reduce blood levels of a substance called uric acid. It is commonly used to treat gout, since elevated uric acid is the primary cause of the painful disease.
Earlier research has shown that some teens with high blood pressure have unexplained increases in their uric acid levels, leading the authors of the current study to suggest that drugs designed to reduce uric acid might have some benefit in treating high blood pressure in these specific patients. This theory was bold, because scientists were unsure whether the high blood pressure was casuing the increase in uric acid, or whether the increased uric acid was causing changes leading to high blood pressure.
Patients in the study group - who all had elevated uric acid levels - showed greater reductions in blood pressure when treated with allopurinol in addition to normal high blood pressure medicines. The patients on both medicines had larger overall drops in blood pressure than patients only receiving traditional treatments.
This research is a potential breakthrough in treating certain types of high blood pressure that are usually difficult to control. The authors caution, though, that allopurinol can be a dangerous drug and that traditional treatment - along with lifestyle changes - is still the most effective treatment for most patients