Tag Archives: hypertension

Hypertension the “Silent Killer” is on the Rise, CDC Reports

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released new information regarding our nation’s health. According to new estimates, almost 54 percent of Americans diagnosed with hypertension don’t have the condition under control despite the majority receiving healthcare. 

As reported by Health.org, to gather this information the CDC analyzed the nation’s blood pressure health using data from a National Health Examination Survey taken between 2003 and 2010.

As a result, the CDC estimates that the prevalence of hypertension among adults at that time was more than 30 percent, or nearly 67 million Americans. Additionally, of the 53 percent who didn’t have their blood pressure in control, 39 percent were unaware they had hypertension, 16 percent knew but took no medicine to treat the condition, and 45 percent were taking medications that were not bettering the condition.

Why is this news concerning? CDC director Dr. Thomas Frieden has deemed hypertension “public-health enemy number two,” only behind tobacco use.

To have hypertension means to have elevated or high blood pressure. A disease often known as the “silent killer” due to it being asymptomatic, hypertension typically leads to fatal stroke or heart attack. High blood pressure is defined as having a consistently elevated arterial blood pressure. Furthermore, obesity has been strongly associated with hypertension and heart disease.

Financially speaking, the CDC estimates that high blood pressure costs our nation close to $130 million a year in healthcare bills. And certainly more concerning, Frieden points out, is the fact that hypertension claims approximately 1,000 lives a day. (more…)

Is Salt Really as Bad as We Think?

It seems the general rule when it comes to salt is ‘don’t have too much – it’s not healthy for you.’ And after hearing this message for most of our lives, the majority of people view it as fact. Put the salt shaker down; it’ll give you high blood pressure.

But a recent editorial piece in the New York Times by Gary Taubes argues otherwise, questioning whether or not salt really is as bad as they say it is.

Taubes points out that recent evidence suggests restricting the amount of salt we eat can actually increase our likelihood of dying prematurely, which is the exact opposite of what we thought before. In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture still considers salt the nation’s greatest health threat before fats, sugars and alcohol. But, a new rebel band of health experts now suspects that it’s more likely that eating the amount of salt the USDA and CDC actually recommends would be doing more of a disservice than benefit.

In the 1970s, despite no conclusive evidence showing a connection between salt intake and serious health problems, salt reduction was declared a must. Health experts at the time thought this to be true primarily based on the observation that populations outside the U.S. that ate little salt had minimal hypertension, as well as a study that showed a group of rats developed hypertension on a high-salt diet. (more…)

Scientists Turn Bad Fat Into Good Fat

Scientists from the U.S. Johns Hopkins team have managed to turn bad white fat into good brown fat in recent experiments on rodents. This breakthrough could be a huge step in treating obesity if it were able to yield the same results in humans.

Brown fat is present in all humans during the infant years, but disappears as we age. Brown fat has been called the key to burning fat and could be a helpful way to control weight. When brown fat is lost in the body, it is replaced by white fat which has been called “bad fat” because it just sits. In their experiment, scientists were able to suppress an appetite stimulating protein called NPY. Through this suppression, the rodent’s appetite and caloric intake was reduced. This was the case even when they were fed a diet high in fat. An even more interesting development with this experiment was that the rodent’s bad white fat stores turned into good brown fat.


New U.S. Dietary Guidelines Continue to Endorse DASH Diet

Dietary Approaches to Stop HypertensionEvery five years, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans is reviewed and updated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health. The 2010 guidelines were published today, and not only outline what foods are best for us, but also for the first time give advice on what foods to avoid.

In the introductory summary of the document, the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH diet) is singled out as an eating plan that embodies the these updated dietary guidelines.

The DASH Diet is a way of eating that’s been proven to reduce blood pressure, and has also been recommended by the American Heart Association and the National Institute of Health. On this diet, you will eat lots of fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy products, lean meats, fish, poultry, nuts, beans and whole grains. This eating plan will not only help to lower your blood pressure, it’s also a safe and effective weight-loss diet.


Killer at Large: Why Obesity is America’s Greatest Threat Exposes Scary Reality

By Jessie Gorges

Picture this: A world where the majority of the population has to take insulin shots, and the life expectancy of children is lower than their parents’. That’s exactly where we’re headed, according to the documentary Killer at Large: Why Obesity is America’s Greatest Threat.

The film opens with an obese 12-year-old child. Brooke Bates and her parents list reasons for her weight gain and explain that diet and exercise didn’t work for her. So, instead of seeing a dietitian or personal trainer, they choose liposuction surgery to resolve the problem.

The creator of the film, Bryan Young, lists stress-induced cortisol, junk-food advertising to children, unhealthy school lunches and increased production of high-fructose corn syrup as the obesity epidemic’s main catalysts.


The More Protein The Better is a Common Nutrition Myth

Protein is essential for normal body functioning and crucial to help build and repair muscle tissue after strenuous workout sessions. Protein is defined as organic compounds made of amino acids that are arranged in a linear chain, typically found in meat, fish, nuts, eggs, dairy products, legumes, and protein supplements. They are considered to be the building blocks for your muscles and immune system. Protein can also be used as a form of fuel to provide the body with energy if you are not getting enough fat or carbohydrates, which are the primary energy sources.

The recommended daily value (DV) of protein based on a 2,000 calorie diet is 50 grams. For those who exercise frequently, it is recommended to get .8 to 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. For instance, a 200 pound (90.9 kilogram) male is recommended to intake 72 to 108 grams of protein per day. If you don’t get enough protein in your diet, your immune system may become weakened, you can lose muscle mass, experience growth failure, and even weaken the heart and respiratory system. So, please make sure you are getting enough protein in your daily diet.


America’s Silent Killer – Salt on The Doctors

Tune in this Wednesday, November 24 to The Doctors when the lid is blown off of America’s silent killer – salt.

On the show, you will learn how to take action and join the nationwide movement to Halt the Salt. Plus, The Doctors will reveal what  store bought foods contain the greatest amounts of sodium and you will also learn which of your favorite foods contain too much salt on restaurant menus. (more…)

Dark Chocolate is Good for High Blood Pressure

dark chocolate lowers high blood pressureHow good can dark chocolate be for high blood pressure? The flavanols found in dark chocolate stimulate the production of endothelial nitric oxide, which causes blood vessels to dilate and potentially lower blood pressure. Past studies have reported conflicting results about the benefits of flavanols, but a new meta-analysis published in BMC Medicine examined the findings of 13 studies on the subject. The studies assessed met the criteria of measuring the effects of cocoa as a food or drink on systolic and diastolic blood pressure as compared to a placebo. The new study concluded that dark chocolate, but not milk or white chocolate, did reduce hypertension and prehypertension, equivalent to the effects produced by 30 minutes of exercise. (more…)

Low Fitness in Youth Linked to Hypertension

Many adults have high blood pressure, but until recently, there has been little knowledge as to the origin. A recent study commissioned by scientists at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine has found a substantial correlation between young adults who don’t get enough aerobic, physical exercise and having high blood pressure later in life.


Understanding Obesity Related Diseases: Hypertension and High Blood Pressure

As more of our population become obese and overweight, obesity diseases become much more prevalent. Hypertension is one such disease, and here I explain what it is, why it affects the overweight, symptoms and prevention.

blood-pressureWhat is it?
Hypertension is one word meaning elevated or high blood pressure.  Known as the “silent killer” due to it being asymptomatic (not showing significant signs or symptoms). It typically leads to having a fatal stroke or heart attack.  High blood pressure is defined as having a consistently elevated arterial blood pressure.  When a doctor or nurse takes your blood pressure, they measure the systolic and diastolic blood pressure.  Being hypertensive means you have a systolic blood pressure above 140mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure is above 90mm Hg (normal blood pressure = systolic of 130mm Hg and diastolic of 85mm Hg).  Untreated hypertension can result in heart failure, renal disease, and peripheral vascular disease. (more…)