A recent study found that Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and high blood pressure are 3 of the most common overlapping diseases. 42% of individuals under assisted-living care suffer from dementia, while 9% suffer from dementia coupled with a form of heart disease and high blood pressure. A professor of geriatric medicine at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Cynthia Boyd explained the lack of care for overlapping diseases, “We don’t universally do a great job of how we treat conditions that overlap, for example, Alzheimer’s and high blood pressure.” It was suggested that future studies will be conducted to find ways to better treat overlapping diseases. More here
Older adults should be very aware of Kidney health. It has been found that kidney health is in direct correlation with longevity. Researchers have found that Cordyceps Sinensis a Chinese traditional medicine that is made from a mushroom and has been used for over 1200 years, can be the key for maintaining a healthy kidney. This Medicine can help prevent unhealthy side effects such as fatigue, joint and back pain, impotence and high blood pressure. More here and here
Research published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society states high blood pressure can effect your walking speed. Researchers were aware that older adults with high blood pressure were not as likely to function as well as adults without high blood pressure. Studies also have shown that adults with the condition run higher risks of becoming physically impaired as they age. Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Washington in Seattle conducted a study that may give proof that high blood pressure can actually slow walking speed over the course of time. More here
A new procedure is being tested in the United States to help people with resistant hypertension. Resistant hypertension is a condition where high blood pressure fails to normalize even after taking prescribed medication. Resistant hypertension affects approximately 1 in 11 people who suffer from high blood pressure. It can cause serious health risks such as heart attacks, kidney disease, strokes and heart failure. The procedure consists of a medical machine that sends short bursts of radio waves to kill the sympathetic nerves. Murray Esler, MD, PhD, professor and senior director of the Baker IDI Heart and diabetes Institute in Melbourne, Australia said “the sympathetic nerves are the stimulant nerves of the kidneys. They are commonly activated in high blood pressure”. More here
Americans are now spending more money on medication used to treat conditions that were formerly considered part of the normal aging process than they are on drugs to fight chronic diseases. The research, presented at the American Public Health Association’s 140th Meeting, found that anti-aging medications cost an average of $73.30 per individual user last year, 16 percent higher than the amount spent on both high blood pressure and heart disease medication. And the cost of anti-aging drugs has increased along with their popularity. Since 2006, the price of aging medications, such as those used to treat sexual dysfunction and mental alertness, has risen 46 percent. More here.
Among people over the age of 65, more than half have at least three chronic conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, or Alzheimer’s disease. But, according to a new report from the American Geriatrics Society, healthcare providers often follow standard clinical guidelines for an individual disease when they may not be the safest or most effective treatment for a patient with multiple conditions. Cynthia M. Boyd, MD, MPH, of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said a clinician prescribing medications according to standard guidelines for an individual disease may end up with a patient who is taking too many medications and running a risk for drug interactions and harmful side effects. The report recommends a number of guiding principles for caring for seniors with multiple health problems, such as considering patient preferences, weighing risks, benefits, and burdens, interpreting research, and accounting for the complexity and feasibility of treatment options. More here.
A patient’s beliefs about treatment options and the cause of a disease can influence their willingness to follow a prescribed medication regimen, according to a study by Todd Ruppar of the MU Sinclair School of Nursing. Ruppar’s research focused on older patients being treated for high blood pressure, which affects nearly 70 million Americans. According to Ruppar, patients often have underlying beliefs about the causes of high blood pressure and how it can be treated, which lead them to underuse their medication. If a patient, for example, believes they can effectively control their blood pressure through diet and exercise they are less likely to faithfully follow their prescribed medication regimen. Ruppar believes practitioners should encourage more frequent monitoring of blood pressure levels to help patients associate taking their pills with health benefits. More here.
According to a survey from Gallup, Americans who like where they live and feel their community is becoming a better place report being healthier and better rested compared to those who say their neighborhood is becoming a worse place to live. The survey found that Americans who are satisfied with their community have Physical Health Index scores nearly nine points higher than those who are not. Americans who are happy where they live reported fewer headaches, less pain, weren’t obese, and were less likely to have been diagnosed with asthma, high cholesterol,or high blood pressure. Also, Gallup found that people who felt safe in their city were more likely to have better exercise and physical health habits than those who reported feeling unsafe while walking alone at night. More here.
How much stress you feel and how you react under stressful situations affects your heart, whether it has a direct physical effect or leads to behaviors proven to increase risk such as smoking or overeating. Learning to effectively manage stress is an important part of maintaining a healthy heart and avoiding numerous health problems associated with stress, such as high blood pressure, asthma, and ulcers. Experts recommend managing stress with relaxation and natural techniques rather than medication and tranquilizing drugs. Exercising, maintaining a positive attitude, not smoking, cutting back on coffee, and maintaining a healthy weight and diet are among the top recommendations from the American Heart Association on how to manage stress and reduce risk of cardiovascular trouble. More here.
Having a parent with high blood pressure is one of the biggest risk factors for developing the condition. But new research from the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina in Columbia suggests physical fitness may help lower the risk of developing high blood pressure, even in people with a genetic predisposition. The study found that, among participants who had a parent with high blood pressure, the most physically fit had only a 16 percent higher risk of developing the condition than individuals with no family history. And, depending on the level of exercise, they were up to 34 percent less likely to develop high blood pressure than people who rarely exercised. Researcher Robin P. Shook said even a moderate amount of exercise, such as brisk walking for 150 minutes a week, can provide a huge health benefit. More here and here.