11 New Genes Influence Blood Pressure

11 new DNA sequence variants to affect high blood pressure and heart disease

Researchers from Queen Mary University of London say discovering the new genes contributes to better understanding of the nature of blood pressure.

Identifying the new genes will support the development of new blood pressure treatments and will help to assess the efficacy of existing medications for cardiovascular diseases, which cause nearly 16.7 million deaths per year worlwide.

Essential Hypertension (Raised Blood Pressure) in the USA high blood pressure across the US; source: kff.org

Nearly 3.2% of the US population is affected by essential high blood pressure, which brings approximately 13.75 million patients each year. The average patient age is 56 years among males and 63 years among females. Reported symptoms include headache, back pain, dizziness, chest pain and shortness of breath in most cases. High blood pressure is a special risk factor in patients with endocrine, nutritional, metabolic or immunity diseases; diabetes mellitus; arthritis; ischemic heart disease or asthma. Interestingly, high blood pressure is most common in the Amerindian Alaska native, Pacific Inslander and black subpopulation, as 8.7, 7.7 and 5.3 percent of people are diagnosed with hypertension yearly among these ethnic groups.

Raised Blood Pressure Worldwide

Raised blood pressure is estimated to cause 7.5 million deaths, which is nearly 12.8 percent of the total of all deaths. Obesity (BMI > 30), salt intake and genes are all significant risk factors.

New discovery provides better insights into how the body regulates blood pressure, which may lead to the development of new blood pressure and heart disease treatments and and may help to assess the efficacy of existing drugs for cardiovascular diseases

Blood Pressure Drugs Prescribed at Visit

Most common antihypertensive drugs include angiotension converting enzyme inhibitors, HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, cardioselective beta blockers, antihyertensive combinations and calcium channel blocking agents.
Michael Barnes, Director of Bioinformatics, Barts and the London NIHR cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit, Queen Mary University of London, comments: „By highlighting several existing drugs that target proteins which influence blood pressure regulation, our study creates a very real opportunity to fast-track new therapies for hypertension into the clinic."

Meditech is committed to lower the occurance of cardiovascular diseases by manufacturing ambulatory blood pressure monitors and developing related Holter software solutions since 1990. Studies show that ambulatory blood pressure monitors are much stronger predictors of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality than conventional blood pressure monitors. For more information on Meditech ambulatory blood pressure monitoring system, please send your inquiry.

Holter Blood Pressure Monitoring in Spinal Cord Injury

Trauma to the spinal cord often results in the loss of control of the autonomic (involuntary) nervous system over the cardiovascular system, which often lead to higher risk of cardiovascular mortality and morbidity.

Holter blood pressure monitoring gives information over and above conventional blood pressure measurement (CBPM) and it is a stronger predictor of cardiovascular risks than CBPM as well.

There are a number of obvious advantages that Holter blood pressure monitoring provides, including:

- repeated measurements are taken, therefore real blood pressure values are reflected more accurately
- measurements are taken outside medical environment, therefore identification of individuals with white coat hypertension is better
- measurements are taken over a 24-hour period, included nighttime, therefore identification of non-dipping patients, patients whose blood pressure does not reduce at nighttime is possible.

At patients with spinal cord injury, blood pressure patterns depend on the level of injury. According to a new study, tetraplegic patients, patients with paralysis of all their (four) limbs, have:

- a decreased daytime arterial blood pressure,
- loss of nighttime blood pressure dip,
- higher blood pressure variability.

In addition, these patients are exposed to higher risk of potentially life-threatening hypertensive episodes known as autonomic dysreflexia, which is the reaction of the autonomic nervous system to overstimulation and can be characterized by sudden onset of severe high blood pressure with severe headache, sweating, flushing. proper treatment involves administration of anti-hypertensives with immediate determination of the triggering stimuli.

Patients with spinal cord injury are exposed to adverse blood pressure changes and higher risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality due to: Holter blood pressure monitor

- the lost or decreased sympathetic neurons having control over the heart and blood vessels,
- the maladaptive changes within the spinal cord
- the general decrease of physical daily activity.

As holter blood pressure monitoring is a stronger predictor of cardiovascular risks than CBPM, it is also a better tool to monitor and assess the increased risks for cardiovascular diseases in patients with spinal cord injury.

Meditech Ltd. is committed to lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases by manufacturing accurate Holter blood pressure monitors and developing Holter software solutions since 1990.

Facial Flushing after Drinking can be a Marker of Risk for High Blood Pressure

People who flush after drinking alcohol are exposed to higher risk of elevated blood pressure (hypertension).

Untreated hypertension is a significant risk factor for stroke and heart disease: each increase of 20 mmHg in systolic blood pressure and 10 mmHg in diastolic blood pressure above normal levels directly correlates to a doubling of the risk of death from cardiovascular disease over a 10-year period. red face after drinking linked to high blood pressure

According to a new study published online in the U.S. journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, red face indicates over-sensitivity or even intolerance to alcohol, and it is usually developed in a person who genetically cannot break down acetaldehyde, the first metabolite of alcohol.

The research involved 1763 men, the mixture of drinkers and non drinkers. More than one third of drinkers were flushing. According to the study, flushers face elevated risk of developing high blood pressure than non-flushers.

After adjusting age, body mass index, exercise and smoking status, researchers have come to the conclusion that the risk of elevated blood pressure increases significantly when flushers consumes more than four drinks per week. In case of non-flushers, the risk increases with consuming more than eight drinks per week.

Facial flushing increases the risk of high blood pressure, even if flushers consume less alcohol compared to non-flushers, therefore alcohol limitation is suggested to prevent the development of hypertension.

All people aged over 40 should have a cardiovascular health risk assessment. If you have a high risk of developing a cardiovascular disease, treatment to reduce high blood pressure may be suggested. Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring is a reliable and informative tool in the diagnoses and control of hypertension. For more information on the technology, please contact Meditech, the original manufacturer of accurate and reliable ambulatory blood pressure monitors at reasonable price.

Clinic Blood Pressure Readings Often Inaccurate

Out-dated blood pressure equipment is still used in many South African offices, although modern ambulatory blood pressure monitoring equipment is already available.

Although ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) has great success internationally, the use of the ABPM technology is not widespread in South Africa.

Professor Brian Rayner, head of the Southern African Hypertension Society says that recent research has shown that decision based on one blood pressure reading taken in doctors' offices, pharmacies and clinics is often inaccurate and misleading.

Many people are unknowingly living with diabetes or obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, conditions that improve risks for hypertension. In such cases, one blood pressure measurement taken in the office will not bring result.

Since elevated blood pressure is one of the leading causes of heart attack, stroke and kidney failure, ambulatory blood pressure monitoring is strongly recommended for accurate diagnosis, control and reliable hypertension management.

However, mercury sphygmomanometer devices are currently used by most South African medical practices, but this technology is more than 100 years old. Modern blood pressure monitors do not contain mercury due to safety reasons and the measurement is based on the so called oscillometric method, which incloves the observation of oscillations in the cuff pressure caused by the oscillations of the pulse (blood flow).
Long-term decisions on hypertension management should be based on the information provided by an ambulatory blood pressure monitoring equipment, as it is more accurate than clinic or home monitoring in defining the presence of high blood pressure.

The use of ambulatory blood pressure monitoring equipment is regulated in the NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) recommendations in the UK. According to the guidelines the diagnosis of primary hypertension should be confirmed by ambulatory (24-hour) blood pressure monitoring.

With the ambulatory blood pressure monitoring equipment, multiple automatic blood pressure measurements are obtained at predefines intervals throughhout a tipically 24-hour monitoring period. Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring is particularly useful in patients with:

- borderline hypertension
- white-coat hypertension
- suspected autonomic dysfunction
- episodic hypertension.

In addition, ambulatory blood pressure monitoring is also useful in the evaluation of drug resistance and medication compliance. The extended use of the technology would hinder improper diagnosis, save costs and many years of mistreatment. ABPM-05 ambulatory blood pressure monitoring equipment

Meditech ABPM-05 ambulatory blood pressure monitoring equipment, the accuracy of which is validated independently, is a reliable tool in the diagnosis and control of hypertension. If you need more information or if you request a quotation, please contact the manufacturer.

24 hour Blood Pressure Monitoring in the Management of Resistant Hypertension

24 hour blood pressure monitoring has particular benefits for individuals with resistant hypertension, according to a new study.

People with resistant hypertension are exposed to higher risk of heart attack and stroke. Resistant hypertension is diagnosed when blood pressure remains elevated in spite of combining 3 drug therapies, including a diuretic. Resistant hypertension can affect nearly 30 percent of those with elevated blood pressure.

24 hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring enables frequent night-time blood pressure measurements and evidence says that night-time blood pressure recordings are better risk indicators for life-threatening cardiovascular events.

Researchers at the University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, studied 556 patients with resistant hypertension for 5 years. Each patient was given a 24 hour ambulatory blood pressure monitor, which facilitates to make day- and night-time recordings in every 15 and 30 minutes.

Researchers found that the risk of future cardiovascular events increases significantly with the rise of night-time blood pressure. During the study they found if night-time systolic blood pressure was increased by 22 mmHg, the risk of future cardiovascular events improved by 38 percent. If diastolic blood pressure went up by 14 mmHg, the possibility of cardiovascular events went up by 36 percent as well.

During follow-up, nearly 20 percent of the participants had some kind of cardiovascular events: stroke, heart attack, heart failure or sudden deaths. None of these events can be predicted by conventional blood pressure measurement in the doctor's office. 24 hour blood pressure measurement, however, is particularly important in predicting cardiovascular risks. 24 hour ambulatory blood pressure monitor

As a result, reducing night-time blood pressure of patients with resistant hypertension is utmost important.

Meditech as the manufacturer of 24 hour blood pressure monitors and Holter ECG devices is committed to lower the risk of cardiovascular events by offering quality ambulatory monitors which comply with the requirements of international standards.

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