The growing number of people with multiple physical and mental chronic conditions are among the toughest - and costliest - to care for. The TEAMcare collaborative care program is a promising solution. In the January/February 2012 Annals of Family Medicine, Group Health Research Institute and UW Medicine researchers have found how this program works: through primary-care doctors starting and adjusting medications sooner and more often to reach goals ("treating to target"); and motivating patients to participate in their own care and monitor their illnesses. "We have shown that it's effective when nurses work with patients and health teams to manage care for depression and physical diseases together, using evidence-based guidelines, " said Elizabeth H.B. Lin, MD, MPH, a Group Health family physician and an affiliate investigator at Group Health Research Institute.
The first study to check the effects of eating potatoes on blood pressure in humans has concluded that two small helpings of purple potatoes (Purple Majesty) a day decreases blood pressure by about 4 percent without causing weight gain. In a report in the ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the researchers say that decrease, although seemingly small, is sufficient to potentially reduce the risk of several forms of heart disease. Joe Vinson and colleagues point out that people in the U.S. eat more potatoes than any other vegetable. Purple-skinned potatoes, a boutique variety increasingly available in food stores, are noted for having high levels of healthful antioxidant compounds. And in Korea, purple potatoes are renowned in folk medicine as a way to lose weight. Vinson's team thus decided to investigate the effects of eating 6-8 small microwaved purple potatoes twice a day on 18 volunteers, most of whom were overweight with high blood pressure.
An investigation published on bmj.com reveals that children are more likely to be born with persistent pulmonary hypertension ( high blood pressure in the lungs) if the mother took anti-depressants during pregnancy. Persistent pulmonary hypertension is a rare, but severe disease associated to heart failure. The disease increases blood pressure in the lungs causing: shortness of breath dizziness fainting and difficulty breathing Investigators at the Centre for Pharmacoepidemiology at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm Sweden, examined a total of 1.6 million births between 1996 and 2009 in Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Iceland. The infants were examined at 33 weeks. In the study a total of 1, 618, 255 singleton births were included. In early pregnancy around 17, 000 of the mothers filled out a prescription for anti-depressants and approximately 11, 000 in late pregnancy.
Researchers at St. Michael's Hospital have published the first detailed figures showing the risk of using the prescription drug Rasilez in combination with certain other blood pressure-lowering medications. The pharmaceutical company Novartis terminated a large, international clinical trial of the drug last month after finding an increased incidence after 18-24 months of non-fatal strokes, renal complications, high levels of potassium in the blood and low blood pressure. As a result, Health Canada said on Dec. 22 that it would review the safety of Rasilez, the brand name for aliskiren. Even before Novartis halted its clinical trial, Dr. Ziv Harel and other researchers at St. Michael's were examining the interaction between Rasilez and angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) drugs.
Atrial Fibrillation A Risk Factor In Later Life For Middle-Aged Men With Upper-Normal Blood Pressure
Middle-aged men at the upper end of normal blood pressure had an elevated risk for atrial fibrillation later in life, according to new research in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association. Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common heart rhythm disorder in which irregular heartbeats can lead to stroke and other heart-related complications; it affects over 2.7 million Americans. While hypertension is a risk factor for AF, the health consequences of upper-normal blood pressure are not yet fully understood. "Women with blood pressure on the upper end of the normal range have been shown to be at increased risk for AF, " said Irene Grundvold, M.D., lead author of the study and consultant cardiologist in the Cardiology Department at Oslo University Hospital in Ullevaal, Norway. "We set out to determine if the same was true for men who are not yet considered hypertensive.