Healthy Communities- January 3, 2014

Reports and Articles
apple Black Women Have Highest Rates of High Blood Pressure
More black women have high blood pressure than black men and white men and women, according to a new study in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

The study included 70,000 people in the 12 southeastern states that are often referred to as the “stroke belt” because they collectively have a high rate of stroke incidence. Among the study participants, the high blood pressure rate among black women was 64 percent. Among white women the rate was 52 percent and among both black and white men the rate was 51 percent.

“For many years, the focus for high blood pressure was on middle-aged men who smoked; now we know better,” said Uchechukwu Sampson, MD, MPH. MBA, a lead author of the study and assistant professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. “We should look for [high blood pressure] in everyone and it should be treated aggressively — especially in women, who have traditionally gotten less attention in this regard.”

Dr. Sampson’s work was supported in part by the Harold Amos Medical Faculty Award of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Read more on health disparities.

2014 Evidence-Based Guideline for the Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults Report From the Panel Members Appointed to the Eighth Joint National Committee (JNC 8)
JAMA
Hypertension is the most common condition seen in primary care and leads to myocardial infarction, stroke, renal failure, and death if not detected early and treated appropriately. Patients want to be assured that blood pressure (BP) treatment will reduce their disease burden, while clinicians want guidance on hypertension management using the best scientific evidence. This report takes a rigorous, evidence-based approach to recommend treatment thresholds, goals, and medications in the management of hypertension in adults. Evidence was drawn from randomized controlled trials, which represent the gold standard for determining efficacy and effectiveness. Evidence quality and recommendations were graded based on their effect on important outcomes.

Risk of heart disease, diabetes in middle-aged women reduced by modest weight loss
MNT: December 25, 2013
Modest weight loss over 2 years in overweight or obese, middle-aged women may reduce risk factors for  and diabetes, according to new research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

In a study of 417 women participating in weight loss programs for up to 24 months, those who sustained a 10 percent or more loss of their body weight for two years reduced their total cholesterol, LDL “bad” cholesterol, HDL “good” cholesterol, triglycerides, insulin, glucose and inflammation markers. Women who had the highest levels of risk at the start of the study benefitted the most from modest weight loss

High Good, Low Bad Cholesterol Levels Are Healthy for Brain, Too
Science Daily: December 30, 2013
High levels of “good” cholesterol and low levels of “bad” cholesterol are correlated with lower levels of the amyloid plaque deposition in the brain that is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease, in a pattern that mirrors the relationship between good and bad cholesterol in cardiovascular disease, UC Davis researchers have found.

U.S. health continues to be threatened by heart disease and stroke
MTN
Heart disease and stroke remain two of the top killers of Americans and pose a significant threat to millions of others, according to the American Heart Association’s Heart Disease and Stroke Statistical Update 2014, published in its journal Circulation.

The update reflects the most up-to-date statistics on heart disease, stroke, other vascular diseases and their risk factors. It is the only source for current prevalence data on cardiovascular health. Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S. and stroke is the No. 4 cause. The association compiles this update with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health and other government agencies.

Greater Dietary Fiber Intake Associated With Lower Risk of Heart Disease
ScienceDaily
 In recent years, a decline in both cardiovascular disease (CVD) and coronary heart disease (CHD) has been seen in some European countries and the United States. However, it still remains a significant issue accounting for almost half (48%) and a third (34%) of all deaths in Europe and the United States.

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