Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Social Issues / 01.08.2020 Interview with: Dr. Shingo Yanagiya Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine Sapporo, Japan What is the background for this study? Response: Thank you very much for your question. Hypertension is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases including stroke and ischemic heart disease. Due to the relatively high prevalence of hypertension, there is an increased public burden resulting mainly from cardiovascular disease. It is well known that hypertension is associated with several lifestyle factors, including excessive intake of salt or alcohol, obesity, inactivity, and other personal attributes. Since socioeconomic status affects individual lifestyles and other factors, differences in socioeconomic status may influence the risk of hypertension. Therefore, it is important to clarify whether the risk of hypertension varies among socioeconomic classes when considering an effective strategy for preventing hypertension. Based on my research of previous reports about the relationship between household income and incident hypertension, evidence is scarce for Japan. So, we investigated this in an employed population in Japan. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Duke, Heart Disease, JAMA / 06.11.2018 Interview with: Yuichiro Yano MD PhD Assistant Professor in Community and Family Medicine Duke University What is the background for this study? Response: New blood pressure guidelines, issued in 2017 in the US, lowered the blood pressure thresholds for hypertension from systolic blood pressure/diastolic ≥140/90 mm Hg to systolic/diastolic ≥130/80 mm Hg. This change increased the prevalence of hypertension two- to three-fold among young adults. The guidelines also newly defined elevated blood pressure as, 120-129 mmHg systolic blood pressure over 80 mmHg diastolic or less. However, no study investigated that high blood pressure, as defined by the new criteria, is something that younger people should be concerned about as a potential precursor to serious problems. Our study is among the first to report that people younger than age 40 who have elevated blood pressure or hypertension are at increased risk of heart failure, strokes and blood vessel blockages as they age. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Heart Disease, PLoS / 19.10.2017 Interview with: Professor Kazem Rahimi, FRCP MD DM MSc FES Deputy Director, The George Institute for Global Health UK Associate Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Oxford Honorary Consultant Cardiologist, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Mitral regurgitation, the most common heart valve disorder in high-income countries, has until now been considered a degenerative disorder, which results from damage over time due to ‘wear and tear’. As a result, the focus of medical practitioners has been on treating the disorder – by repairing or replacing the valve – rather than preventing it. This is partly because there has been a lack of large-scale, longitudinal studies investigating the effect of risk factors on the condition. We set out to analyse data on 5.5 million patients in the UK over 10 years. Our findings show, for the first time, that elevated blood pressure is an important risk factor for mitral regurgitation. Consistent with prior evidence on blood pressure associations with other cardiovascular disease - such as stroke and heart attacks – we found an association with mitral regurgitation that is continuous across the whole spectrum of blood pressure. More specifically, every 20 mmHg higher baseline systolic blood pressure is associated with a 26% increased risk of mitral regurgitation, with no threshold below or above which this relationship is not true. The association we found was only partially mediated by conditions that are established causes of secondary mitral regurgitation, which suggests that high blood pressure has a direct and independent effect on valve degeneration. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Emergency Care, Vanderbilt / 24.11.2015 Interview with: Candace D. McNaughton, MD MPH FACEP Assistant Professor Emergency Medicine Research Department of Emergency Medicine, Research Division Vanderbilt University Medical Center Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. McNaughton: Hypertension, or high blood pressure, affects 1/3rd of adults in the United States and more than 1 billion people worldwide.  It is also the #1 risk factor for cardiovascular disease such as heart attack and stroke, so it is very important to treat. The burden of hypertension in the emergency department is not well understood.  The ER is not usually thought of as a place where perhaps we could or should be addressing hypertension; that has traditionally be left up to primary care providers. Through this study, our goals were to gain a better understanding of how many ER visits were either related to hypertension or were solely because of hypertension, and to determine whether this changed from 2006 to 2012. We found that emergency room visits related to or solely for hypertension were common and that they both rose more than 20% from 2006 to 2012. Visits to the emergency department specifically for hypertension were more common among patients who were younger, healthier, and less likely to have health insurance. Despite increases in the number of ER visits related to hypertension, the proportion of patients who were hospitalized did not increase; this suggests that doctors in emergency departments may be more aware of hypertension and/or may be managing it without having to hospitalize patients. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, CDC, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 20.11.2015 Interview with: Quanhe Yang, PhD Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, GA 30341 MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Yang: Body mass index (BMI) is an important risk factor for high blood pressure among adolescents. Despite a recent leveling off in the numbers of overweight and obese youths, weight-associated health outcomes remain a problem in the U.S. Some researchers have suggested that the increased prevalence of high blood pressure among adolescents is associated with the epidemic of overweight and obesity in the U.S. As a result, we analyzed trends in pre-high blood pressure and high blood pressure among U.S. youth using data from a series of National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. Nearly 15,000 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 19 were included in the surveys, which were conducted between 1988 and 2012. During that 24-year timeframe, the prevalence of high blood pressure actually decreased overall, while pre-high blood pressure remained largely unchanged. However, those rates differed based on body weight category. For example, pre-high blood pressure was consistently higher among overweight/obese adolescents (18 to 22 percent) than those of normal weight (11 to 12 percent). The observed changes in both pre-high blood pressure and high blood pressure prevalence were consistent across age group, sex and race/ethnicity. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension / 14.09.2014 Interview with: Sourabh Aggarwal, MD University College of Medical Sciences Western Michigan University School of Medicine in Kalamazoo. Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Aggarwal: The main findings were that from 2006 to 2011:
  • ER visits for essential hypertension increased by 25 percent, while the admission percentage for these patients fell by 15 percent.
  • ER visits for hypertension with complication and secondary hypertension increased by 19 percent, while the admission percentage for these patients fell by 12 percent
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension / 23.11.2013 Interview with: Dan Nation Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology at University of Southern California Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System What are the main findings of the study? Answer:   The main study findings indicate that high blood pressure, specifically pulse pressure (systolic - diastolic pressure), is associated with increased markers of Alzheimer's disease in the cerebral spinal fluid of healthy middle-aged adults.  These results suggest a connection between blood pressure and Alzheimer's disease prior to the onset of any symptoms of the disease. (more…)