People with only mildly elevated systolic blood pressure have a high risk of stroke similar to those with significantly raised systolic or diastolic blood pressure, long-term follow-up of a large national population sample has shown. Moreover, the study found that the increase in stroke risk was not confined to those over 65, conventionally considered most stroke-prone: Systolic hypertension increased the risk of all types of strokes in participants as young as 45.
At least half of older adults with hypertension do not have their blood pressure controlled to normal levels, according to a survey of 5,888 patients around the country. The failure to control blood pressure to less than 140/90 mmHg may account for as much as 22 percent of myocardial infarctions and 34 percent of strokes in older adults, according to University of Washington researchers.
Survival after a heart failure diagnosis has greatly improved over the past 50 years, according to a study from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health. The study found that the risk of dying after being diagnosed with heart failure had dropped by about a third in men and women during that period. About 4.8 million Americans have heart failure, with about 550,000 new cases being diagnosed each year. Heart failure contributes to about 287,000 deaths a year.
People who find it hard to lose all the weight they want or that their doctors recommend should take heart, a North Carolina scientist says. New research suggests that losing even modest amounts of weight can pay off in better health. The study showed for the first time that shedding excess pounds decreases activity of a key enzyme known to play a central role in high blood pressure. Less body weight translates into lower blood pressure, the study found, and hence lower risks for cardiovascular disease, stroke, kidney disease and other health problems.