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blood pressure

The following articles have the tag blood pressure

Antihypertensives in pregnancy

Antihypertensives in pregnancy

When should blood pressure (BP) lowering medicines be considered for pregnant women?

Prematurity link to BP variability

Prematurity link to BP variability

DOCTORS should consider initiating CVD interventions early in young adults who have elevated blood pressure and who were born preterm, say researchers who have found that this group has higher blood pressure and BP variability putting them at greater risk for CVD.

Lowering blood pressure in kids reduces adult hypertension

Lowering blood pressure in kids reduces adult hypertension

CHILDREN with elevated blood pressure have a greater chance of avoiding hypertension as adults if they adopt a few simple healthy lifestyle behaviours early, Australian researchers say.

Overhaul blood pressure treatment: experts

Overhaul blood pressure treatment: experts

OVERHAULING management of hypertension could potentially save many lives and reduce the burden of chronic disease on the health system, experts say.

Probiotics may lower blood pressure

Probiotics may lower blood pressure

REGULAR consumption of probiotics may help lower blood pressure, according to Australian research.

Stroke hotspots in Australia identified

MORE than 51,000 Australians will have a stroke this year and South Australia and Tasmania carry the highest burden of stroke in the country, a report shows.

Screen time increases hypertension risk in kids

Screen time increases hypertension risk in kids

CHILDREN as young as eight-years-old may be at increased risk of developing hypertension if they spend too many hours in front of a screen, research suggests.

Prehypertension may double stroke risk

EVEN low-range prehypertension can increase the risk of stroke, a meta-analysis has found.

Variability of systolic BP independent risk factor for CVD

Variability of systolic BP independent risk factor for CVD

HIGHER visit-to-visit systolic blood pressure (SBP) variability is a significant predictor of risk for stroke, myocardial infarction and heart failure events in the elderly, an Australian study has found.

Watching TV sport may improve fitness

AS THE Australian cricket team aims to seal a resounding Ashes series win today their efforts may also benefit the health of those viewing the series on TV, with new research suggesting that watching sport produces physical reactions similar to a work-out.

Renal denervation aids diabetes

Renal denervation aids diabetes

ABOUT 800 Australian patients with resistant hypertension have undergone renal denervation, which has also been shown to improve blood glucose control, a conference will hear this week.

Central BP device drops meds

A DEVICE to measure central aortic blood pressure from the wrist significantly reduces the use of antihypertensive medication, Tasmanian researchers have found.

Truckies’ diet endangers everyone

Truckies’ diet endangers everyone

A FIFTH of truckies have blood pressure in the extremely high range, are taking medications for depression and are extremely obese, data from a charity to support them shows.

Polypill dream one step closer

Polypill dream one step closer

THE dream of a fixed-dose combination (FDC) medication for treatment of cardiovascular disease is becoming a reality with a trial showing improved adherence, but only in high-risk patients, the architect of the combination medication says.

Alarming diabetes rate revealed

ONE Australian adult over 25 develops diabetes every five minutes, the latest Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study (AusDiab) shows.

Eating more breakfast may lower BP

A HEARTY breakfast is good for the heart, concludes a study that reveals higher energy intake early in the day is associated with lower hypertension prevalence.

Obesity in kids has adult sequelae

Obesity in kids has adult sequelae

CHILDREN with obesity exhibit early signs of worsening cardiometabolic health including end organ effects such as increased left ventricular mass, a meta-analysis shows.

Morning BP surge raises stroke risk in women

AN EXCESSIVE surge in morning blood pressure (BP) increases the risk of non-fatal stroke in women and could have implications for treatment and management, research suggests.

GPs want more progress on addiction, dementia

BLOOD pressure, diabetes and cholesterol have all been nominated by MO’s GP readership as areas in which they and their colleagues have had the greatest impact on patient outcomes during MO’s 25 years of publication.

Teen risk factors lead to higher BP

Teen risk factors lead to higher BP

TEENAGERS do not get away with unfavourable lifestyle behaviours such as alcohol consumption, high salt intake and a lack of exercise, a WA analysis of blood pressure levels has shown.

Barriers remain for routine ambulatory BP monitoring

WORLD Hypertension Day was marked last week by experts calling for more widespread use of ambulatory blood pressure monitoring – but the RACGP says costs and practical considerations remain prohibitive.

Vitamin C could lower BP

HIGH-dose vitamin C significantly reduces blood pressure, according to findings from a meta-analysis of short-term trials.

Watermelon: the new, cool way to lower blood pressure in the obese

WATERMELON has a vasodilatory effect, reducing ankle blood pressure in people with obesity and pre-hypertension, researchers have found.

Patients with CVD not reaching BP targets

MORE than half of patients with established cardiovascular disease are failing to meet currently advised blood pressure targets, an Australian general practice study shows.

Safety warning for ADHD drug

THE TGA has issued a safety advisory warning that patients taking the ADHD medication atomoxetine (Strattera, Eli Lilly) require monitoring due to the risk of increased heart rate and blood pressure.

Cardiac polypill shown to halve major events

THE first polypill, combining four cardiac preventative drugs, could be available in Australia within two years, an expert says, after clinical trial results showed it could halve major cardiovascular events. An international collaborative group, including researchers from Sydney’s George Institute for Global Health, measured the effects of a combined pill in 378 people without an indication for any component of the pill but who had a five-year cardiovascular risk over 7.5%. They found that over 12 weeks, the polypill – containing aspirin 75 mg, lisinopril 10 mg, hydrochlorothiazide 12.5 mg and simvastatin 20 mg – reduced systolic ...

Auto BP monitors headed for GP wait rooms

AUTOMATED machines enabling patients to check their own blood pressure will be installed in 120 GP clinic waiting rooms across the country by year’s end. Thirty of the free machines, sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim, will be rolled out in a pilot program with more to follow as clinics sign up to the initiative through the High Blood Pressure Research Council of Australia ( With studies showing up to 35% of Australians have hypertension, Professor Markus Schlaich, a blood pressure research specialist and council member, said the move should encourage more people in the community to “know their ...

Olmesartan safety called into question

A CLOUD hangs over the safety of antihypertensive agent olmesartan (Olmetec) following a clinical trial linking it to an increased risk of fatal cardiovascular events in patients with diabetes. ROADMAP was a randomised controlled trial in more than 4000 type 2 diabetes patients receiving 40 mg of olmesartan or placebo, designed to show whether the antihypertensive agent could delay or prevent microalbuminuria. Microalbuminuria onset was delayed by 23% in the olmesartan group, but 15 patients in the olmesartan group had fatal cardiovascular events compared with only three in the placebo group. All patients were given additional ...

Cholesterol falling in Australia, but we’re fatter than ever

Cholesterol falling in Australia, but we’re fatter than ever

CHOLESTEROL levels fell faster in Australia and New Zealand than in any other region in the world in the last 30 years, a new global study shows. But obesity is still rising, with Australians having the third biggest increases in BMI in the world over the past two decades. Researchers from the US, UK and WHO estimated trends in cholesterol, obesity and blood pressure using health surveys and epidemiological studies from 199 countries between 1980 and 2008. The data showed that total cholesterol levels fell in the global high-income regions of Australasia (Australia and New Zealand), ...

Low vitamin D raises risk of hypertension

YOUNG adult women with inadequate vitamin D intake are at significantly increased risk of developing hypertension later in life, US research suggests.  A prospective study of 413 women aged 24 to 44 found those with vitamin D insufficiency (less than 80 nmol/L) at baseline were three times more likely to developed hypertension 14 years later than those with normal vitamin D levels. The association remained significant after adjusting for hypertension, age, body fat percentage, antihypertensive medication use and smoking status. Professor Rebecca Mason, deputy director of the Bosch Institute at the University of Sydney, said the ...

Lizard venom can lower blood pressure

IN AN unlikely discovery, Australian researchers have found that lizard venom can lower blood pressure, opening up the potential for new antihypertensive drug treatments in the future.  An international team of researchers led by Dr Bryan Fry (PhD), from the department of pathology at the University of Melbourne, collected venom samples from a unique group of venomous lizards known as anguimorphs, which include monitors, alligators and legless lizards. "We only recently discovered that venom in lizards was not restricted to the Gila monster and beaded lizard, but it was in fact much more widespread - so we ...

Novel treatment for hypertension

AUSTRALIAN researchers say their novel technique for renal nerve deactivation effectively reduces high blood pressure in patients resistant to drug treatments. The renal denervation procedure is “safe, quick and minimally invasive”, and may eventually offer a way to reduce patients’ drug load, say the developers, from Melbourne’s Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute. The procedure involves inserting a catheter through the groin into the renal arteries, where it emits radio frequency energy to deactivate the surrounding renal sympathetic nerves. This results in a sustained reduction in blood pressure.  Research supporting the technique’s efficacy was presented to ...

US barber shops cut hypertension in men

ENABLING barbers to monitor blood pressure and dispense basic health education seems to improve hypertension in African-American men, new research confirms.  A randomised trial involving 17 African American-owned barbershops in Dallas County, Texas, found almost 9% more of the intervention group achieved hypertension control compared to those attending barber shops where no intervention was offered after 10 months’ follow-up.  Barbers in the intervention groups offered BP checks with haircuts to all their clientele and promoted doctor follow up with gender-specific peer-based health messages, compared with controls where barbers distributed standard BP pamphlets to clients.   ...

Pre-eclampsia: The CVD connection

Pre-eclampsia: The CVD connection

Is pre-eclampsia a one-off event or a signal for future cardiac disease for mothers and children? Leigh Parry asks if we should monitor these groups more closely in later life.

Pine bark found not cardioprotective

PINE bark extract, marketed to patients seeking an alternative approach to cardiovascular disease prevention, offers no benefit over placebo, researchers say. Their finding follows a US study in which 130 patients with obesity and hypertension were randomised to receive 200 mg of pine bark extract daily or placebo. The researchers concluded there was no significant reduction in blood pressure in either group after 12 weeks. Nor were there any substantial differences between the two groups in other cardiovascular risk factors including BMI, lipid levels, insulin levels, fasting glucose, liver function and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein. Despite the ...

Lower BP raises risk in pre-existing CAD

A J-CURVE effect, whereby those with the highest and lowest blood pressure levels are both at increased risk of cardiovascular events, has been confirmed in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD), researchers say. A US study of 10,000 patients with CAD, randomised to receive either 80 mg or 10 mg atorvastatin, found an increased risk of death from coronary heart disease or non-fatal myocardial infarction at both low and high BP targets. The authors say it confirms earlier findings and questions the dictum that “with blood pressure, lower is always better”. The CV risk was less with ...

Pressure test for BP monitoring

Just how good is BP monitoring when it comes to gauging the effectiveness of antihypertensives? Chris Brooker looks at the debate that could see the sphygmo’s dominance in the surgery decline.

Immediate drug therapy warranted for confirmed HT

DECISIONS on when to initiate drug treatment for hypertension should be based on a patient’s absolute cardiovascular risk, an Australian expert says.  Mark Nelson, professor of general practice at the University of Tasmania, recommended immediate drug treatment if grade three hypertension was confirmed by multiple measures on at least two occasions. Writing in Australian Prescriber, Professor Nelson, also a senior member of the Menzies Research Institute, said this would include patients with a systolic BP of 180 mmHg or greater or diastolic BP 110 mmHg or greater, those with isolated systolic hypertension with widened pulse pressure (systolic ...

Home DIY care shows merit for hypertension

A HOME-BASED ‘self-management’ strategy for patients with hypertension involving telemonitoring and self-titration could offer a new approach to maintaining blood pressure (BP) control. The UK multicentre trial in 527 primary care patients with treatment-resistant hypertension found the ‘self-management’ group had an average decrease in BP of 17.6 mmHg versus a decrease in BP of 12.2 mmHg with ‘standard’ care after one year.  The reduction in BP translated into a reduction in stroke risk of more than 20% and in coronary heart disease of more than 10%, the authors estimated.  Side-effects were similar in both groups, except ...

Lower BP no benefit in diabetes and CAD

LOWER blood pressure targets for patients with diabetes and coronary artery disease (CAD) may not achieve their aim of improving cardiovascular outcomes. A US secondary analysis of 6400 patients with diabetes and CAD has challenged 2008 Australian Heart Foundation guidelines recommending BP targets of less than 130/80 mmHg in patients with diabetes and/or coronary heart disease.  There was little difference in the rate of cardiovascular events between those maintaining systolic BP under 130 mmHg and those with “usual” control (130/80 mmHg to 145/85 mmHg). And when extended follow-up data was included, those in the tighter controlled ...

Lower BP targets for CKD ‘flawed’

CURRENT guidelines that recommend lower blood pressure targets for patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) could be risky and are based on a lack of evidence, a US expert has argued. After conducting a literature review, Professor Julia Lewis, a nephrologist at Vanderbilt University, Tennessee, argued international guidelines recommending blood pressure targets of less than 130/80 mmHg in patients with CKD were flawed, being based on evidence from observational studies. “No well-powered, randomised, intention-to-treat clinical trials have demonstrated a clinically significant benefit of achieving a BP target of ≤130/80 mm Hg in the setting of CKD,” she ...

Check BP in children with familial hypertension

HYPERTENSION in children is increasingly common, researchers say, highlighting the need for blood pressure checks in children with obesity or a family history of cardiovascular disease. A US/Canadian cross-sectional study of 2000 paediatric primary care practice visits in children aged three to 20 years of age without a history of hypertension found 726 (36%) of children had elevated BP.  However, as many as 87% of cases of elevated BP were not recognised by clinicians, most likely in children with more modest BP elevations.  “Although obvious signs… may prompt providers to recognise BP elevation in children, cases ...

Ambulatory BP thresholds revised

AUSTRALIA’S first-ever 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure thresholds for moderate to severe hypertension have been set slightly lower than equivalent clinic values. The targets were developed from a collaborative study by the High Blood Pressure Research Council of Australia and the National Heart Foundation. The study compared 24-hour ambulatory BP measurements from 8575 treated and untreated hypertensives across Australia with clinic measurements by 1693 trained staff and doctors. The findings showed average clinic BP measurements by trained staff were 6/3 mmHg higher than daytime ambulatory BP and 10/5 mmHg higher than 24-hour BP, but 9/7 mmHg lower ...

Parents take heart: having children lowers BP

PARENTS dealing with a temper tantrum may disagree, but it appears that having children may actually lower blood pressure.  A study of 198 US adults, who wore portable blood pressure monitors for 24 hours, found those who were parents had an average 4.5 points lower systolic blood pressure and three points lower diastolic blood pressure.  This was after adjusting for age, BMI, exercise and smoking.  The effect was most pronounced for women, with mothers having a 12-point difference in systolic blood pressure and a seven-point difference in diastolic blood pressure compared to women without children.  ...

Easter Bunny delivers more than just eggs

THE Easter bunny may be delivering more than just a sweet treat this weekend with research finding consuming just six grams of chocolate per day may lower blood pressure and the risk of stroke and myocardial infarction (MI).   German researchers examined the association between chocolate consumption and vascular disease based on food frequency questionnaires and blood pressure measurements in 19,357 participants aged 35 to 65 years and free of MI and stroke. After eight years follow-up, those with the highest chocolate consumption – an average of six grams of chocolate daily – had a 39% lower ...

Experts agree on uniform criteria for metabolic syndrome

A UNIVERSAL definition for metabolic syndrome has been developed by international experts in an effort to end widespread confusion over diagnostic criteria. The clinical utility of the metabolic syndrome has been controversial but a high-profile group of experts, including Professor Paul Zimmet, of the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, reaffirmed its importance in a commentary in The Lancet . The article follows an agreement in October by six major international bodies – including the International Diabetes Federation, International Atherosclerosis Society and the American Heart Association - to unify the cut-points for blood pressure, waist circumference, ...