People whose blood pressure drops rapidly when they move from lying down to standing, known as orthostatic hypotension, may have a higher risk of developing heart failure, according to research published in Hypertension, an American Heart Association journal. The link between orthostatic hypotension and heart failure was stronger in people 45-55 years old compared to those 56-64, researchers said. High blood pressure, which was present in over half of people who developed heart failure, may be partially responsible for the association. Over an average 17.5 years of follow-up, researchers looked at the association between orthostatic hypotension and developing heart failure. They measured patients' blood pressure while lying down and shortly after standing up. They defined orthostatic hypotension as a decrease of 20 points or more in the systolic (top number) or a decrease of 10 or more points in the diastolic (bottom number) blood pressure measurements.
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have identified a cell-signaling pathway that plays a key role in increasing insulin secretion during pregnancy and, when blocked, leads to the development of gestational diabetes. Their findings are available online in Diabetes, one of the journals of the American Diabetes Association. During pregnancy, pancreatic beta cells should expand and produce more insulin to adapt to the needs of the growing baby, explained senior investigator Adolfo Garcia-Ocana, Ph.D., associate professor of medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Pitt School of Medicine. Newborns can suffer complications if the mother's blood glucose is abnormally high during pregnancy, a condition known as gestational diabetes. "Not much was known about the maternal mechanisms that lead to increased beta cell number and function during pregnancy, " Dr.
A program that helps obese patients improve healthy behaviors is associated with modest weight loss and improved blood pressure control in a high-risk, low-income group, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Duke University, Harvard University and other institutions. The research is published in Archives of Internal Medicine. Obesity treatments are not widely available in the U.S. primary care setting, particularly for low-income patients who seek care at community health centers, according to the study's authors. "We undertook this study in federally qualified health centers, requiring minimal primary care time, so that we might develop a strategy that could be easily implemented through the broad range of health centers that receive support from the federal government, " says epidemiologist Graham A.
A systematic literature review of prazosin in the treatment of nightmares will be presented this week during the 20th European Congress of Psychiatry by researchers from the Mayo Clinic. They will announce that prazosin (a blood pressure medication) is an effective treatment to repress nightmares associated to post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Four of the 12 prazosin studies examined by the team were randomized controlled trials. Simon Kung, M.D., a Mayo Clinic psychiatrist and lead researcher of the study, explained: "The studies showed the drug was well-tolerated and can take effect rapidly, within days to weeks, and some patients reported a return of nightmares when the course of prazosin was stopped. There's not much available for treating nightmares in terms of medications, so prazosin is a promising option.
In findings that may lead to clinical trials of a promising new drug for kidney disease, researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and their colleagues have identified a key molecular player and shown how a targeted experimental drug can reverse kidney damage in mouse models of diabetes, high blood pressure, genetic kidney disease, and other kidney injuries. The study builds on a discovery that, in mice, a key protein can repair and reverse renal fibrosis, the critical damage caused by different kidney diseases in humans. The new paper details 10 years of methodical follow-up experiments to understand, verify and harness the protective molecular process with a new drug that can be tested in people. The paper appears in the March 2012 issue of Nature Medicine. "This paper reports the discovery of one of the first targeted drugs specifically developed to reverse fibrosis and regenerate the kidney, " said senior author Raghu Kalluri, MD, PhD, Chief of the Division of Matrix Biology at BIDMC and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS).