With Brain Microbleeds, Can Patients Tolerate Lower Blood Pressure?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Joshua Goldstein

Dr. Joshua Goldstein

Dr. Joshua Goldstein MD, PhD
J. Philip Kistler Stroke Research Center
Division of Neurocritical Care and Emergency Neurology, Department of Neurology MGH
Harvard Medical School, Boston Department of Emergency Medicine
Massachusetts General Hospital
for the Antihypertensive Treatment of Acute Cerebral Hemorrhage 2 (ATACH-2) and the Neurological Emergencies Treatment Trials (NETT) Network Investigators  

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: It’s hard to know how aggressively to lower blood pressure in acute intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH).  Randomized controlled trials have been conflicting. We thought that we could use the presence of severe small vessel disease (SVD) – manifested by microbleeds seen on brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – to guide treatment decisions.  On the one hand, those with severe SVD may be most vulnerable to continued bleeding, and specifically need more intensive blood pressure lowering.  On the other hand, if they have impaired regulation of cerebral blood flow, they might be harmed by rapid drops in blood pressure, and maybe we have to be more careful with them.

To answer this, we performed a subgroup analysis of the multi-centre ATACH-2 clinical trial of intensive blood pressure lowering. This was the first study to assess the effect of randomized acute stroke treatment on patients with more severe SVD, manifested by microbleeds.  We found that no matter what your small vessel disease burden on MRI, you’ll respond the same to early blood pressure management.

Continue reading

Systolic blood pressure target 130-140 may be associated with the lowest risk of all-cause mortality

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Islam Elgendy, MD

Cardiology Fellow
University of Florida

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The optimal systolic blood pressure target in adults with coronary artery disease is not well known. The Eighth Joint National Committee Panel recommended a target therapeutic goal <150 mm Hg for adults aged ≥60 years and <140 mm Hg in those aged <60 years. These recommendations are inconsistent with the different society guidelines (such as American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology, European Society of Cardiology, and American Society of Hypertension) which recommended a therapeutic target < 140 mm Hg. Given that the dyad of hypertension and coronary artery disease is the most prevalent chronic disease dyad among adults, we aimed to assess the long term risk of all-cause mortality with the different systolic blood pressure targets.

Using the extended follow-up data from the US cohort of the INVEST trial, we demonstrated that achieving a systolic blood pressure of 130 to <140 mm Hg in the initial 2-3 years of treatment is associated with reduced all-cause mortality after ≈11.6 years of follow-up in hypertensive patients with coronary artery disease.

Continue reading

White Coat Hypertension Is Not Benign and Should Not Be Ignored

Dr. Wanpen Vongpatanasin MD Program Director, Hypertension Fellowship Program Professor of Internal Medicine Director of the University of Texas Southwestern Hypertension ProgramMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Wanpen Vongpatanasin MD
Program Director, Hypertension Fellowship Program
Professor of Internal Medicine
Director of the University of Texas Southwestern Hypertension Program

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Vongpatanasin: Home blood pressure measurement may reveal very different number when compared to clinic blood pressure in hypertensive patients.  This difference can manifest as white coat hypertension (White Coat Hypertension; elevated office blood pressure with normal ambulatory or home blood pressure), or masked hypertension (MH; elevated ambulatory or home BP with normal office blood pressure).  Although numerous epidemiological studies from Europe and Asia have shown increased cardiovascular risks associated with White Coat Hypertension and masked hypertension, previous studies have not addressed cardiovascular outcomes associated with White Coat Hypertension and masked hypertension in the general population in the United States.

We found that  participants in the Dallas Heart Study, a multiethnic populational-based study in the Dallas County, both White Coat Hypertension and MH are associated with increased aortic stiffness and markers of kidney damage when compared to the group with normal blood pressure both at home and in the clinic. Furthermore, both white coat hypertension and masked hypertension are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular events, including coronary heart disease, stroke, atrial fibrillation, heart failure, and cardiovascular death over a median follow-up period of 9 years.

Continue reading

Your Smartphone May Help You Control Your Blood Pressure

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Neetika Garg, MD
Fellow in Nephrology
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine
Boston, MA 02215

MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Garg: One in every three Americans suffers from hypertension. Since high blood pressure (BP) frequently does not cause any symptoms, self-blood pressure monitoring at home and patient education are critical components of patient management. With more than 58% of the US adults owning a smartphone, mobile-based health technologies (most commonly in the form of applications or “apps”) can serve as useful adjuncts in diagnosis and management of hypertension. At the same time, several smartphone-based applications are advertised as having blood pressure measurement functionality, which have not been validated against a gold standard. In this cross-sectional study, we analyzed the top 107 hypertension related apps available on the most popular smartphone platforms (Google Android and Apple iPhone) to analyze the functional characteristics and consumer interaction metrics of various hypertension related apps.

Nearly three-quarters of the apps record and track blood pressure, heart rate, salt intake, caloric intake and weight/body mass index. These app features can facilitate patient participation in hypertension management, medication adherence and patient-physician communication. However, it was concerning to find that 6.5% of the apps analyzed could transform the smartphone into a cuffless BP measuring device. None of these had any documentations of validation against a gold standard. Furthermore, number of downloads and favorable user ratings were significantly higher for these apps compared to apps without blood pressure measurement function. This highlights the need for greater oversight and regulation in medical device development.

Continue reading

Your Blood Pressure Affected by Spouse’s Social Network

Bert Uchino PhD Department of Psychology and Health Psychology Program University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UtahMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bert Uchino PhD
Department of Psychology and Health Psychology Program
University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah,

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?


Dr. Uchino:
The main findings from our paper is that independent of one’s own social network quality, the quality of a spouse’s social network was related to daily life ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) levels.  More specifically, the more supportive (positive) ties, and the less aversive (negative) or ambivalent (both positive and negative) ties in a spouse’s social network, the lower was one’s own  ABP.  In addition, looking at the social networks of couples as a whole showed that couples who combined had more supportive ties and less aversive or ambivalent ties showed lower ABP.

Continue reading

Chronic Kidney Disease: Blood Pressure and Mortality

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Hemodialysis.com Author Interview: Csaba P. Kovesdy MD FASN. Csaba P. Kovesdy MD FASN.The Fred Hatch Professor of Medicine Director, Clinical Outcomes and Clinical Trials Program in Nephrology University of Tennessee Health Science Center Chief of Nephrology Division of Nephrology, Memphis VA Medical CenterDr.Csaba P. Kovesdy MD FASN.

The Fred Hatch Professor of Medicine
Director, Clinical Outcomes and Clinical Trials Program in Nephrology
University of Tennessee Health Science Center
Chief of Nephrology
Division of Nephrology, Memphis VA Medical Center

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Kovesdy: In this study of >650,000 US veterans with CKD we found that categories of lower SBP/DBP combinations are associated with lower mortality only as long as the DBP component remains above a threshold of approximately 70 mmHg, and that patients with BP values in the range of 130-159/70-89 mmHg had the lowest mortality.  Patients who might be considered to have “ideal” blood pressure (<130/80) actually had increased mortality due to the inclusion of individuals with low systolic and diastolic blood pressures.

Continue reading

Youth With Type 2 Diabetes: Rapid Rise in Hypertension and Nephropathy

MedicalResearch.com eInterview with:

Dr. Jane L Lynch MD School of Medicine Pediatrics University of Texas Health Science Center at San AntonioDr. Jane L Lynch MD
School of Medicine
Pediatrics
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Lynch: American youth with type 2 diabetes who received the best currently available treatment and close monitoring of their diabetes experienced a more rapid progression of co-morbidities far more aggressive than what is typically seen in adults with type 2 diabetes.

MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Lynch: Youth with type 2 diabetes enrolled in the TODAY study developed early and rapidly progressing signs of heart and kidney disease, poor glycemic control and diabetes-related eye disease; even in the group receiving more intensive two-drug therapy, shown in previously released results to be the most effective treatment for maintenance of glycemic control.
Continue reading