A study published on bmj.com reveals that individuals with hypertension whose blood pressure (BP) readings are different in each arm have lower survival rates over 10 years. According to national guidelines, physicians should measure blood pressure in both arms in many patients, however, these guidelines are often not followed as a result of insufficient evidence and time pressures. The researchers state that measuring BP in both arms should be routinely part of measuring BP and subsequent treatment. The teams findings back results of an earlier study they conducted which indicated that different readings in each arm are linked to increased mortality risk over 5 years, and are a predictor of reduced survival. In this study, the researchers at Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry examined 230 patients between 1999 and 2002 in order to determine the difference in survival rates after 10 years.
The fixed drug combination of aliskiren and amlodipine (trade name: Rasilamlo® ) was approved in April 2011 for the treatment of people with hypertension in whom aliskiren or amlodipine alone has an insufficient effect. In an early benefit assessment pursuant to the "Act on the Reform of the Market for Medicinal Products" (AMNOG), the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) examined whether this drug combination offers an added benefit compared with the present standard drug therapy in people with essential hypertension. However, such an added benefit cannot be inferred from the dossier, as the drug manufacturer deviated from the specifications of the Federal Joint Committee (G-BA) and chose a different comparator therapy. Calcium channel blocker and ACE inhibitor specified as comparator therapy Aliskiren interferes with the production of blood-pressure controlling hormones (the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system).
Diseases such as kidney failure and endocrine tumors are among the suspects causing high blood pressure - but could the common pain relievers in your medicine cabinet be the culprit? According to Prof. Ehud Grossman of Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Sheba Medical Center, many common over-the-counter and prescription medications are underlying causes of hypertension, which is a major risk factor for stroke, heart attack, and aneurisms. The chemical components of the drugs can raise blood pressure or interfere with anti-hypertensive medications, he explains. And while many medications can cause this drug-induced hypertension, both patients and doctors remain dangerously uninformed. His recent research was published in the American Journal of Medicine. Weighing the treatment options "In diagnosing the causes of hypertension, over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen are often overlooked, " says Prof.
Use of selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants during pregnancy appears to be linked with increased risk of pregnancy induced high blood pressure (" hypertension "), but a causal link has not been established. Pregnancy hypertension is sometimes linked with pre-eclampsia, a serious condition that can harm pregnant women and their unborn babies. But the authors stress that pregnant women should not stop taking their prescribed medication; instead they should seek a consultation with their doctor if they are concerned. Out of 1, 216 women, the overall incidence of hypertension in women taking SSRIs appeared to increase from about 2% to about 3.2% (a relative risk increase of 60%). One specific SSRI, paroxetine, was associated with an increase in incidence of hypertension to about 3.
If stress is giving you high blood pressure, blame the immune system. T cells, helpful for fighting infections, are also necessary for mice to show an increase in blood pressure after a period of psychological stress, scientists have found. The findings suggest that the effects of chronic stress on cardiovascular health may be a side effect of having an immune system that can defend us from infection. The results also have potential implications for treating both high blood pressure and anxiety disorders. The results are published in the journal Biological Psychiatry. "Chronic stress has long been known to have harmful effects on the immune system as well as being a risk factor for hypertension, " says lead author Paul Marvar, a postdoctoral fellow at Emory University School of Medicine.