Gene Twist Can Make Your Blood Pressure Spike From Salt

News Picture: Gene Twist Can Make Your Blood Pressure Spike From Salt

Latest High Blood Pressure News

WEDNESDAY, April 18, 2018 (HealthDay News) — New research sheds light on why some people’s blood pressure is especially sensitive to salt.

The research team previously discovered that a natural gene variation that occurs in 48 percent of people increases a person’s chances of having blood pressure that’s sensitive to salt. Their new study revealed how this gene variant prevents the body from eliminating excess salt.

The gene variant causes a sodium (salt) transporter called NBCe2 to overwork, bringing too much sodium filtered in the kidney back into the body, particularly after a high-salt meal. That means that consuming too much salt could be especially dangerous for people with this gene variant.

Blood pressure that’s sensitive to salt can be difficult to diagnose and treat, according to the researchers, because about 14 percent of people can have normal blood pressure and still be salt-sensitive.

About three out of 10 people are sensitive to salt and their inability to eliminate excess salt puts them at increased risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney failure and blindness, according to study senior author Robin Felder, from the department of pathology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, and colleagues.

“It’s important for the body to get rid of excess sodium because having too much sodium in the body causes the body to retain water, which can raise blood pressure and significantly shorten one’s lifespan,” Felder said in a university news release.

The study was published online recently in the journal PLOS One.

— Robert Preidt

Copyright © 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

SOURCE: University of Virginia, news release, April 12, 2018


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      What causes mucus in the chest?

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      What’s the Best Way to Track Your Blood Pressure?

      News Picture: What's the Best Way to Track Your Blood Pressure?By Amy Norton
      HealthDay Reporter

      Latest High Blood Pressure News

      WEDNESDAY, April 18, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Blood pressure readings taken with a portable monitor may be a much better gauge of your prognosis than readings at the doctor’s office, new research suggests.

      The study of nearly 64,000 adults found that “ambulatory” blood pressure monitoring was clearly better at predicting a patient’s risk of dying over the next five years, versus doctor’s office readings.

      “The difference is striking,” said lead researcher Dr. Jose Banegas, of the Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain.

      He said the findings offer “unequivocal evidence” in support of ambulatory monitoring.

      “There is no scientific or clinical justification for not using ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, which should be part of the evaluation and follow-up of most hypertensive patients,” Banegas said, referring to the medical term for high blood pressure.

      Ambulatory blood pressure readings are taken with a small monitor that patients wear for 24 hours to automatically record blood pressure every half hour or so.

      Unlike doctor’s office readings, ambulatory monitoring captures real-life blood pressure changes, explained Dr. Raymond Townsend, of the University of Pennsylvania.

      That can, for example, detect “masked” high blood pressure, Townsend said. Those are cases where people have normal readings at the doctor’s office, but their daily life tells a different story.

      Ambulatory monitors have been around for a long time, but they are used “infrequently” in the United States, said Townsend, who wrote an editorial published with the study. Both appear in the April 19 New England Journal of Medicine.

      One reason, Townsend added, is because insurers often don’t pay.

      The new findings may encourage wider use, though, said Eileen Handberg, a member of the American College of Cardiology’s Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease Leadership Council.

      It’s “hard to argue with” results from such a large study, said Handberg, who was not involved with the research.

      They’re based on a Spanish registry with information on almost 64,000 adults whose primary care doctors ordered ambulatory blood pressure readings for various reasons.

      Some had borderline-high readings in the office, for instance, while others had suspected “white-coat” hypertension. That refers to doctor’s office readings that are higher than what a person usually has during their typical day.

      Over roughly five years, just over 3,800 patients died. It turned out that ambulatory blood pressure readings were a better predictor of death risk than office readings.

      For every 14-point increase in a person’s 24-hour systolic (top number) pressure during ambulatory monitoring, the risk of death rose by 58 percent. That was with other factors — including office-based readings — taken into account.

      The picture was different with office readings: Higher numbers were related to an increased risk of death, but once ambulatory readings were factored in, those office measurements, themselves, were no longer predictive of patients’ death risk.

      About 8 percent of the study group was found to have masked hypertension. In some cases, those people were on high blood pressure medication, but while their condition looked well-controlled based on office readings, their ambulatory readings showed differently.

      Those people had the highest risk of dying during the study period — between two and three times higher, versus people with normal blood pressure.

      Similarly, people with white-coat hypertension were 79 percent more likely to die, compared with those with normal blood pressure.

      There has been debate over whether the white-coat phenomenon is “benign,” Banegas said. “Our study demonstrates that it is not,” he said.

      Handberg agreed. She said that patients with high numbers at the office sometimes argue that their blood pressure is normal when they check it at home.

      But, Handberg said, that white-coat effect probably reflects what your blood pressure does anytime you are stressed. “It’s probably spiking when you’re cut off in traffic, too,” she noted.

      Should you have ambulatory monitoring? It might be wise, Handberg said, if there is any question over whether you really have high blood pressure, or whether your blood pressure medications are working.

      If your doctor does not have ambulatory monitors, a home monitor is the next best thing, Banegas said.

      Townsend agreed. A home monitor will not allow continuous readings, he noted, but using it regularly will give you “additional information.”

      The study was partially funded by Spain-based Lacer Laboratories, which makes ambulatory monitors.

      Copyright © 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

      SOURCES: Jose Banegas, M.D., department of preventive medicine and public health, Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain; Raymond Townsend, M.D., director, hypertension program, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; Eileen Handberg, Ph.D., member, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease Leadership Council, American College of Cardiology, and research professor, medicine, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville; April 19, 2018, New England Journal of Medicine


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        Is it safe to drink alcohol while taking Adderall?

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          Health Tip: Living With Cardiomyopathy

          (HealthDay News) — Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle that causes the heart to become enlarged, rigid or thicker.

          As the condition worsens, the heart becomes weaker and is less effective at pumping blood, the U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute says.

          The agency suggests how to help tame some of the condition’s complications:

          • Quit smoking.
          • Lose any excess weight.
          • Avoid alcohol and illegal drugs.
          • Get plenty of sleep.
          • Reduce stress.
          • Take medication as your doctor has prescribed it.
          • Get regular medical checkups.
          • Eat a healthy and balanced diet.
          • Exercise regularly.

          Copyright © 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.


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            Turn Chores Into a Fitness Routine

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            WEDNESDAY, April 18, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Is the “e” word — exercise — a downer for you?

            If so, you need look no further than everyday chores to find new ways to ramp up your workout level and burn more calories.

            Remember, if you’re moving you’re burning calories — and the movement doesn’t have to be on a treadmill or even in a gym. In fact, one eight-year study found that people got the same health benefits whether they went to the gym, walked to work or did household chores.

            The benefit, of course, depends somewhat on the chores you’re tackling. Some are more labor intensive than others, so you can burn the same number of calories in a shorter time. For instance, you’d need to wash windows, floors or your car for 45 to 60 minutes to get the same effect as 30 minutes of raking leaves and just 15 minutes of shoveling snow.

            In general, though, you can burn up to 250 calories an hour doing housework, and even more gardening or snow shoveling.

            House cleaning comes with another benefit: You’ll exercise all major muscle groups. There’s walking, stretching, bending and lifting involved when you’re making beds, vacuuming, putting away dishes, washing windows and taking out the trash.

            If you’ve been inactive, though, start slowly — even with chores. Physical activity is physical activity, so make sure your doctor is onboard with any new fitness program.

            Start with light activities like dusting, ironing and cooking. Then move to the moderate ones like general housecleaning, stacking wood in the garage and gardening. If you aren’t yet aerobically fit, stay away from a strenuous activity like shoveling snow, which can carry heart risks.

            Women can expect to burn about 240 calories an hour with light activity. For men, it’s 300 calories. Moderate activity burns about 50 percent more.

            The bottom line? Even if you don’t break a sweat from chores, the more you move, the more effectively you counter the health negatives of too much sitting at home and at work.

            — HealthDay staff

            Copyright © 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.


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              Pancreatic cancer: Some blood pressure drugs put women at risk

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