Category: Hypertension

Research Links Air Pollution During Rush-Hour Traffic to Heart Disease

Posted on 16 April, 2015  in Hypertension

Professor Robert Storey, a corresponding author for a paper published in the European Society of Cardiology, reports that air pollution is a pervasive environmental risk factor that poses enormous global health threats. He and fellow European Society of Cardiology members reveal that air pollution causes over 3 million worldwide deaths annually.

They advise heart disease patients and those at risk of developing this major killer to avoid spending time outdoors in rush-hour traffic. These experts also advocate decreasing fossil fuel usage to protect the public’s health.

Identifying the Problem

Ample evidence associates outdoor air pollution with worsening current heart patients’ conditions, leading to cardiac disease in healthy people, and contributing to premature deaths. Unfortunately, research shows that the air pollution/cardiovascular risk factor connection is bi-directional. Pollutants might exacerbate hypertension and impaired insulin sensitivity while increasing diabetic and obese people’s cardiovascular disease risks.

The authors note that indoor air pollution plays a significant role. When outdoor pollutants enter buildings, most exposure tends to occur inside. The indoor air quality in workplaces, community facilities, homes, and schools can be problematic. Fossil fuels also contribute to air pollution and greenhouse gases in major ways.

Avoiding Health Consequences

Luckily, air pollution is the ninth most adjustable disease risk factor before inadequate exercise, high-sodium diets, and elevated cholesterol levels. Steering clear of air pollution whenever possible can help manage and prevent cardiovascular disease. The authors urge heart patients and other people with high risks of developing cardiovascular disease to take measures that decrease their air pollution exposure through:

  • Avoiding walking and biking on high-traffic streets, especially around rush hour
  • Working out in secluded park and garden areas that are distant from major roads
  • Limiting time outdoors during high-pollution periods, particularly for people with cardiac and respiratory disorders, the elderly, and infants
  • Using a filtered ventilation system in high-pollution vicinities to clean the indoor air at home

Storey hopes that cardiologists will include these warnings in their lifestyle advice for heart patients. Taking your primary cardiovascular drugs or secondary preventative medications can help reduce air pollution exposure’s possible adverse effects. Buy your prescriptions for these and other medical conditions from our licensed Canada Drug Pharmacy. Learn how convenient and affordable using a foreign pharmacy can be.

These recommendations should encourage government entities to make air pollution regulation a priority. Policymakers can address this urgent need by decreasing outdoor pollution limits, which also will minimize indoor pollution. The authors urge legislators to encourage or require planning authorities to incentivize housing developments located farther away from polluting industries and high-traffic roads. Using sources other than fossil fuels to produce energy also could provide major health benefits from reducing air pollution exposure to mitigating climate change.

Preventing Heart Disease

Dr. Om Ganda, M.D., and the Mayo Clinic offer helpful ways to lower your heart disease risk.

Don’t smoke.

Any smoking amount is unsafe. Even smokeless tobacco, low-nicotine and low-tar cigarettes, and secondhand smoke are risky. The chemicals in smoke can harm your heart while narrowing your blood vessels, which may lead to atherosclerosis and heart attacks. Carbon monoxide replenishes some of your blood’s oxygen. Your heart must struggle to provide adequate oxygen, elevating your blood pressure and heart rate. Quitting smoking drops your heart disease risk to be near a nonsmoker’s in around five years.

Regulate your weight.

Carrying excess pounds and fat, especially around your waist, can lead to conditions that strain your heart and increase your cardiac disease chances. Losing only five to 10 percent can help lower your blood pressure and cholesterol while reducing your diabetes risk.

Be physically active.

Engage in moderate-intensity exercise for 30 to 60 minutes most days. If you’ve been sedentary, start out slowly and increase your workout intensity, time, and frequency gradually.

Follow a heart-smart diet

. Eat high-fiber foods like fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Low-fat protein sources like beans and fatty fish including salmon or mackerel can decrease your heart disease risk. Skip trans fats from fried fast foods, baked goods, packaged snacks, and margarine. Limit saturated fats from red meats, dairy products, and oils like palm and coconut. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.

Lower your bad cholesterol.

Healthy plant-based fats from nuts, olives, olive oil, and avocados reduce your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, which in turn protects your heart.

Control your blood sugar.

Maintaining healthy glucose levels can protect your heart while preventing numerous diabetic complications.

Sleep well.

Not getting enough quality sleep can raise your risk of obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and heart attack. Maintain a regular sleep s

Survey Advises Weight-Loss Treatments for 65 Percent of Americans

Posted on 10 April, 2015  in Hypertension

Survey Advises Weight-Loss Treatments for 65 Percent of AmericansAmerica’s obesity epidemic ranks as one of the worst in the world. Using 2007 to 2012 data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a recent study estimated the staggering proportions of adults that the 2013 Obesity Guidelines recommend for various weight-loss treatments. Now, health care providers can suggest effective and practical therapies for obese patients to drop extra pounds while improving their overall health.

Guidelines Offer Hope to Millions

Researchers report that an estimated 140 million adult Americans, or around 65 percent of the population, need behavioral weight-loss therapy. Some 83 percent (about 116 million) of those also need pharmacotherapy. About 25 percent (32 million) of the people who could benefit from both remedy types are potential bariatric surgery candidates.

The Obesity Guidelines focus on crucial questions regarding treatments while providing evidence-based advice on topics including:

  • Which Americans need to lose weight?
  • How can doctors determine the amount of weight loss that’s necessary to improve patients’ health?
  • What are the most appropriate and effective weight-reduction methods?

Dr. June Stevens, Ph.D., the lead researcher, and her team weren’t surprised to learn that massive numbers of Americans need to take off excess pounds. They used nationally characteristic data to estimate how many non-pregnant adults age 20 and up should lose weight. The scientists based their recommendations on an algorithm combining height, weight, and waist circumference with risk factors such as hypertension, lipid levels, and diabetes. By comparing various demographics, they found that the most likely weight-loss candidates were African-American and Hispanic men over age 45 without college degrees who had health insurance through Medicaid and Medicare.

These results highlight obesity as a serious illness that the public, health care providers, and policymakers should take seriously, notes Obesity Journal’s Dr. Donna Ryan, M.D. The exorbitant numbers of affected Americans underscore the need for widespread obesity management upgrades in primary care settings. With over half of adults receiving weight-loss therapy recommendations, all physicians and registered dietitians should examine and recommend these guidelines to obese patients. Fortunately, well-researched solutions are accessible for most obese adults needing weight-loss interventions. But health insurance companies continue to deny millions of obese Americans coverage for proven weight-loss remedies.

Various organizations are advocating changes. The Obesity Society invites others to join its Advocacy Action Center efforts. New pharmacotherapy guidelines expand on the Obesity Guidelines. This combination will provide a foundation for obesity treatment, which has been lacking clinically. Seeking support from a provider can encourage weight-loss improvement, Ryan notes. Uniting diet and exercising with FDA-approved obesity medications can promote weight loss, especially if lifestyle Obesity Treatment Optionsmodifications alone haven’t been successful.

Treatment Options

The intention of both guidelines is to provide evidence-based tools to help doctors recognize and treat any patients who might need extra support. You and your physician should decide together if adding medical or surgical solutions is right for you, Ryan advises. Obesity increases your risks of developing over 30 additional illnesses including hypertension, heart problems, and diabetes. Order prescription drugs for these conditions and a host of other widespread maladies from Canada Drug Pharmacy. To find multiple medication options, shop Drugs by Condition.

Six Weight-Loss Steps

If you exceed your ideal body weight by 100 or more pounds or if your body mass index (BMI) is over 40, research shows that you’re morbidly obese. Losing that much weight takes time and requires persistence. These six proven tips may help improve your efforts.

  1. Consume less to decrease your daily calories.Eliminating 500 calories per day will enable you to drop 1 pound per week. Generally, a 1- or 2-pound weekly weight loss is healthy. But combining diet and exercise can encourage more weight loss during your initial weeks.
  2. Eat whole nutrient-dense foods.Vegetables should cover half of your dinner plate. Fill a quarter with a heaping whole-grain serving and the other fourth with a small, lean protein portion. Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products over full-fat varieties.
  3. Replace sugary drinks with plenty of water.One study discovered that drinking around 7 cups of water per day helped subjects eat almost 200 less calories than people who consumed under one daily cup.
  4. Substitute healthy fats for saturated ones.That means choosing lean poultry, unsalted seeds and nuts, and olive oil instead of fatty animal products. Read nutrition labels to eliminate processed foods that contain unhealthy trans fats.
  5. Work out.The Department of Health and Human Services advises that most healthy adults should engage in moderate aerobic activities like walking briskly and swimming for 150 or more minutes per week or vigorous aerobics such as running and jogging for 75 minutes. For some people, 300 minutes of moderate exercising is necessary to drop or sustain weight loss. Each workout period should be 10 or more minutes long. Practice safety by starting slowly and increasing your session length as your fitness improves.
  6. Discuss bariatric surgery with your doctor. A Mayo Clinic study showed that this procedure provided long-term heart failure symptom reduction and quality of life improvements for morbidly obese patients.

Traumatic Brain Injuries Increase Future Dementia Risks

Posted on 27 March, 2015  in Hypertension

Traumatic Brain Injuries Increase Future Dementia RisksA study found that aging military veterans who had survived serious head traumas were more prone to develop dementia in later life than uninjured veteran controls. Subjects who’d survived traumatic brain injuries also had greater chances of developing additional medical problems including hypertension, diabetes, depression, and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Search this Canada pharmacy for prescription drugs that treat these and many other illnesses. Learn how to get up to 90-percent savings on your medications.

Veteran Study Results

Previous research determined that dementia patients include five percent of older adults aged 70 to 79 and 37 percent of elderly people in their 90s. Past studies on the association between traumatic brain injury (TBI) and dementia risk have provided mixed results, notes Deborah Barnes, the lead author. So along with her colleagues, she conducted a sizable study to clarify that relationship by considering additional conditions.

The research team examined medical records on 188,764 U.S. veterans aged 55 and up who’d undergone health evaluations from 2000 to 2003 without dementia diagnoses. Each patient had at least one follow-up doctor visit from 2003 to 2012. The investigators examined multiple subsequent effects of head traumas. Even after allowing for other factors, veterans with physical damage histories had 60-percent greater chances of developing dementia as they aged.

Records showed that 1229 veterans had received TBI diagnoses in the initial three-year baseline period. Injuries included concussions, fractured skulls, and bleeding within their skulls. During the second evaluation period, 196 (16 percent) of the patients with TBI histories developed dementia. In addition, 18,255 (10 percent) of those without injuries acquired some cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, or vascular dementia. Veteran records were unclear if brain injuries occurred during or after military service and whether patients suffered single incidents or multiple mild head impacts.

On average, TBI veterans developed dementia two years sooner than subjects without such injuries. Because these statistics represent population averages, many affected veterans won’t develop dementia while many without TBIs will. Having experienced a head wound increases you risk. Veterans who’d suffered head shocks were more prone to develop additional medical issues like diabetes, depression, hypertension, PTSD, and cerebrovascular disease than uninjured veterans.

Understanding TBIs

Any impacts on your head that disturb normal mental functioning can cause traumatic brain injuries. Up to one in five Afghanistan and Iraq veterans have endured brain injuries, Barnes reports. But her results apply to civilians as well, due to the similarities among military and noncombatant brain traumas. In war, head injuries from explosives are common, but falls cause the most TBIs among civilians of all ages. Problems also occur following auto wrecks, sports injuries, bullet wounds, and other skull or brain jolts.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, people 75 and up have the greatest TBI-related hospitalizations and deaths. Head traumas are controversial, notes Dr. Rodolfo Savica. Because coexisting health problems were common among veterans with TBIs, he speculates that they may be more vulnerable to diseases. So follow-ups are important for patients like these. He advises telling your doctor about all extra health conditions including mental ones like depression and PTSD.

Understanding TBIsDoctors classify head injuries as mild, moderate, or severe, based on whether they cause blackouts, unconsciousness periods, and symptom severity. Even though most TBIs like concussions are mild because they aren’t life threatening, their ongoing effects may be serious. Lingering or permanent direct symptoms may include unconsciousness, no memory of your trauma, confusion, dizziness, impaired learning skills, difficulty recalling new details, and trouble thinking and speaking coherently. You also might experience headaches, problems with your hearing, ringing in your ears, blurry vision, nausea, vomiting, disorientation, unsteadiness, coordination deficiencies, and emotional or sleep pattern changes.

But how do head traumas trigger dementia years later? Barnes suggests that a physical blow could contribute to other factors that drain your cognitive reserves. Or TBI could hasten the accumulation of toxic proteins in your brain that affect cognitive functioning. Additional possibilities include blood-brain barrier damage and disrupted axon transport. All dementia forms are progressive, worsening over time. They can affect your quality of life, compromise efforts to control other medical conditions, and shorten your life span.

Reduce Your Dementia Chances

The study authors report that head injury survivors can try to reduce their dementia risks by pursuing mental, physical, and socializing activities while controlling diabetes and hypertension, and also seeking treatment for mental health concerns like depression or PTSD. They linked head injuries to mental health issues because subjects with both risk factors had greater chances of developing dementia than vets with just one condition.

Barnes notes that TBI patients might decrease their dementia odds by trying to limit further head injuries. Consider the potential risks of various activities before pursuing them. Brain protection strategies may help preserve your cognitive health. The Alzheimer’s Association recommends maintaining your vehicle properly, following all driving rules, and always using seatbelts. Also safeguard your head by wearing protective equipment including a helmet whenever you bike, skate, or play contact sports.

Learn to Enjoy an Active Life with Heart Failure

Posted on 5 February, 2015  in Hypertension

Learn to Enjoy an Active Life with Heart FailureA heart failure diagnosis sounds like death is imminent, but this chronic condition is treatable. Your heart hasn’t quit working. It just doesn’t function at maximum capacity. Your heart muscle could be too stiff or weak to pump sufficient blood to your organs and tissues, so tasks that may have been easy before become more difficult. Tips from Baylor Heart and Vascular Hospital, Healthwise, and other experts can help you handle everyday activities when you’re living in heart failure.

Know the Signs

See your doctor promptly if you experience any of these heart failure symptoms:

  • Breathing difficulties at rest
  • Reduced energy or fatigue that may be worse when you’re physically active
  • Abdominal, leg, or ankle swelling
  • Wheezing or coughing
  • Recent weight loss or gain
  • Confusion or reduced concentration ability

Medications Are Essential

Heart failure medications include calcium channel blockers, beta-blockers, angiotension converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, (ARBs), aldosterone antagonists, diuretics, digoxin, vasodilators, antiarrhythmics, antihypertensives, and blood thinners. Search Canada Drug Pharmacy for the drugs your doctor prescribes. Learn more about the prescription discounts you can expect.

Following your doctor’s treatment plan can:

  • Prolong your life
  • Control or relieve your symptoms
  • Alleviate ankle or leg swelling
  • Make breathing easier
  • Stabilize or improve your heart function
  • Slow heart failure progression
  • Treat additional health conditions like coronary artery disease
  • Reduce your risk of developing other problems like stroke
  • Boost your energy, so you can be more active
  • Enhance your quality of life
  • Decrease hospitalizations

Managing Your Health and Life

Tracking weight fluctuations is vital. Weigh every morning after using the toilet and before drinking or eating anything. Record your weight either undressed or in similar attire without shoes. Swelling and sudden weight gains of just two or three pounds indicate fluid retention, which could require a medication adjustment.

Disease regulation

Controlling coexisting health conditions like COPD, hypertension, and diabetes can reduce your heart failure symptoms. Check your heart rate and blood pressure daily and your blood glucose as your doctor instructs if you’re diabetic.

Personal care

When everyday routines like changing clothes make you breathless, reorganize closets and drawers for easy access to minimize repeated straining. Sitting on a shower stool can reduce exertion if you’re too weak to stand.


Choose heart-healthy foods like fresh vegetables and fruits over processed and canned options. Replace margarine and butter with healthy olive and canola oils. Enjoy salmon, tuna, beans, whole-grain breads, walnuts, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products.

Limit your liquid intake to six or eight cups per day to avoid fluid buildup that overworks your heart. Count water, juice, coffee, tea, milk, sodas, ice, and soups. Include foods like gelatin, ice cream, sherbet, and popsicles that liquefy at room temperature. Avoid alcohol, which can worsen your illness. Pour each liquid into a measuring cup before consuming to track your remaining amount. Spread your liquid allowance out evenly over the day, saving enough to swallow evening medicines.

Reducing your sodium intake to 2000 milligrams per day will help control your heart failure symptoms. Don’t add table or sea salt when cooking and eating. The sodium content of just one teaspoon is around 2300 milligrams, which exceeds a full day’s allotment. Season foods with herbs and spices instead.

Household choresExercise

Inactivity can worsen your illness quickly. But regular physical activity can reduce your symptoms and weight while increasing your strength and mood. Establish a set time to work out every day. Begin slowly and advance gradually with your doctor’s permission. Moderate exercises including walking, bicycling, swimming, and climbing stairs can help you be as fit as possible. Skip intense workouts like lifting weights and heavy-resistance exercises such as push-ups that require sudden physical exertion, which can increase your heart’s workload and blood pressure.

Household chores

Shopping, cooking, cleaning house, and yard work may be challenging. Rearrange kitchen necessities so they’re easier to reach. Family, friends, or neighbors may help with errands and difficult duties. Check out providers that offer grocery delivery, cleaning, laundry, mowing, and other services.


Most heart failure patients can navigate their automobiles safely. But don’t drive during confused episodes or on pain medications. If you’ve experienced arrhythmias or fainting spells, ask your doctor if driving is feasible.


Many people with heart failure continue their full-time careers. Based on your condition’s cause, severity, possible stress test results, and your job’s demands, your doctor can help determine your appropriate work level.


Maintaining friendships and leisure activities while developing new ones is important, so reach out to others. Having fun can impact your health positively.


The majority of heart failure patients can still enjoy active sex lives. Ask your doctor whether you’re healthy enough for intimacy.


Generally, people in mild or moderate heart failure can enjoy all types of travel safely. Keep a list of prescriptions, major medical conditions and hospitalizations, and your doctor’s contact information on you for setbacks or hospitalizations when you’re out of town. Take enough medications to last several days beyond your intended stay in case return travel delays occur.

DASH Diet Is Still the Best Option for Heart Health

Posted on 26 January, 2015  in Hypertension

DASH Diet Is Still the Best Option for Heart HealthUncontrolled high blood pressure is one of the greatest risk factors for serious health complications. When your blood pressure is too high — meaning the blood exerts too much force on the walls of the arteries as it’s pumped through your heart — it can lead to stroke, heart attack, kidney disease, cognitive decline, damage to your eyes, sexual dysfunction, bone loss, and sleep disturbances. Ideally, blood pressure should be 120/80 or less, but more than a third of all adults have higher readings. And the higher your blood pressure, the greater your risk for complications.

The good news is that for most people, blood pressure can be controlled. The most common treatments are multifaceted, and include prescription blood pressure medication from Canada Drug Pharmacy and lifestyle changes.

One of those lifestyle changes is diet. Not only does losing weight help keep blood pressure in check, but certain foods can have a significant impact on blood pressure readings. While a wide array of diet plans (including fad diets) claim to help people shed pounds and get heathy, most doctors agree that the best diet option for those who want to lower their blood pressure readings is the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH diet.

While the DASH diet was developed to fight hypertension, or high blood pressure, it’s actually been endorsed by a number of agencies and advocacy groups as the best overall diet for health as well as for the management of conditions such as diabetes. With an emphasis on plant-based foods rich in nutrients known to reduce blood pressure (including magnesium and potassium) and limiting sodium, DASH can lower blood pressure by as much as 12 points, or a full “stage” of blood pressure. When combined with blood pressure medication, DASH might even take blood pressure levels from a dangerous Stage 2 (160/100 or higher) to a pre-hypertensive or lower stage. DASH isn’t meant as a weight loss diet, but most people who follow the plan do lose weight, thanks to new habits that encouraging snacking on low calorie, healthy produce, and limit processed, salty, and sugary high-calorie foods.

Even better news is that the DASH diet isn’t overly restrictive or reliant on calorie counting. It focuses on portion control and adding healthy foods, and doesn’t completely eliminate fats or “treats.” The major restriction is to keep sodium under 2,300 milligrams per day (1,200 for the low sodium version) and calories under 2,000 per day, which is usually quite simple given the emphasis on fruits and vegetables.

DASH Diet Breakdown

So what does a day look like on the DASH diet? The program is broken down into food categories, with a recommended number of servings in each category per day. This usually includes:

  • DASH Diet Breakdown6-8 servings of grains. Grains include rice, pasta, and bread products. Serving vary; one slice of bread, half a cup of cooked pasta or rice, or an ounce of cereal is considered a serving. Whole grains like brown rice or whole wheat bread are preferred over heavily processed white rice or flour products.
  • 4-5 servings of vegetables. Look for fiber rich veggies that are rich in potassium and magnesium, such as dark leafy greens and sweet potatoes. A serving is half a cup, or one cup of leafy greens.
  • 4-5 servings of fruit.Again, fiber rich, potassium, and magnesium-loaded choices are best. Fruits like apples and pears, which you can eat with the skin on, are a good choice because of the extra fiber. A serving is one medium piece, a half a cup of fresh or frozen fruit, or in a pinch, four ounces of sugar-free, 100 percent juice.
  • 2-3 servings of dairy.Low fat or fat free choices are best, but try to avoid relying too heavily on cheese, as it’s generally high in sodium. Milk or yogurt is often a good choice. A serving is one cup of milk or yogurt, or one and a half ounces of cheese.
  • 6 or fewer servings of meat or fish. A serving of meat is one ounce, so the 16-ounce porterhouse is out. Choose poultry, fish, or lean cuts of red meat or pork to get your daily allowance.
  • 2-3 servings of fat and oils. Aim for fewer than 27 percent of your daily calorie intake to come from monounsaturated fats; remember that your body needs some fat to absorb minerals and support immune function. A serving of fat includes 2 tablespoons of prepared salad dressing, a teaspoon of margarine, or 1 tablespoon of oil.

The DASH diet also makes allowances for nuts, seeds, and legumes as well as sweets. Sweets should be limited to fewer than five small servings per week, and should include limited amounts of added sugar. Beans and nuts should be limited to four or five half or one-third cups servings per week; a serving of seeds is about two tablespoons. Alcohol isn’t forbidden on this plan, but should be limited to two or fewer daily drinks for men, or one or less per day for women.

The DASH diet is comparatively simple to follow, and can have major benefits for your heart and overall health. If you have high blood pressure, talk to your doctor about this plan and whether it would be a good choice for you.

Got Hypertension? Sweets — Not Salt —Could Be to Blame

If you’ve got high blood pressure, your doctor has probably asked you to restrict your salt intake. But new research suggests that it’s not salt alone that causes blood pressure to skyrocket. According to a new study published in the journal Open Heart, excessive consumption of sugar — and especially fructose — could be to blame for many cases of hypertension.

Added Sugars Increase Hypertension Risk

Added Sugars Increase Hypertension RiskHigh blood pressure causes over 348,000 deaths each year in the United States, and costs a total of $50 billion in annual health costs. While the link between excessive salt consumption and high blood pressure is long-established, researchers are now discovering that reducing salt intake may not be the best way to lower the risk of heart attack and other complications of hypertension.

While previous hypertension treatment guidelines have recommended patients eat less than three grams of sodium a day, new evidence suggests that a daily consumption threshold of three to six grams of sodium is, in fact, ideal.

So, the relationship between salt and high blood pressure isn’t as well-understood as experts once thought. And now evidence is emerging that eating too much fructose, a component of high-fructose corn syrup that’s added to a wide range of American food products, can raise your risk of high blood pressure by as much as 30 percent. Drinking just one 24-ounce sugary soda can raise your blood pressure by 15/9 mm Hg and raise your heart rate by nine beats per minute.

Eating sugar may stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, causing an increase in heart rate and causing the heart to pump more blood. It may also encourage the kidneys to retain more sodium and may make arterial walls stiffer and less flexible. All of these factors may work together to contribute to higher blood pressure as well as increasing the heart’s oxygen needs. Eating more than 25 percent of your daily calories in the form of added sugars can triple your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.

How to Avoid Dietary Sugars

Americans currently eat two to eight times more dietary sugar than the World Health Organization recommends, and consumption of dietary sugars among teenagers can be as much as 16 times current health recommendations. The average American eats about 74 grams of added fructose per day. Part of the problem is that so many food products in the U.S. contain added sugars. But sugary soft drinks alone contain large amounts of fructose — a person who drinks just two and a half cans of soda a day is consuming around 74 grams of added fructose.

Doctors stress that the fructose that naturally occurs in whole fruits is not of concern. While whole fruits do contain a lot of sugar, they also contain other nutrients, like fiber, that change the way the body metabolizes the fructose and balances things out. Vegetables, milk, and whole grains also contain dietary sugars, but again, the other nutrients in these foods affects the way the body metabolizes these naturally occurring sugars in ways that are believed to be beneficial.

If you indulge in too many foods that contain added, rather than naturally occurring, sugars, you may need to add hypertension medication to your shopping list the next time you visit You can avoid many added sugars by avoiding cakes, cookies, pies, non-diet soft drinks, pastries, doughnuts, fruit juice, and other sweets. Instead, try sugar-free yogurt or fresh fruit for dessert. Buy low-sugar versions of your favorite preserves, jellies, or syrups. When buying breakfast cereals or other processed foods, read the label carefully and look for added sugars like:

How to Avoid Dietary Sugars

  • Brown sugar
  • Anhydrous dextrose
  • Invert sugar
  • Corn syrup or corn syrup solids
  • Confectioner’s powdered sugar
  • Fructose or liquid fructose
  • Dextrose
  • Honey
  • High-fructose corn syrup or HFC
  • Maple syrup
  • Lactose
  • Maltose
  • Malt syrup
  • Pancake syrup
  • Molasses
  • Sucrose
  • Nectars, like pear or peach nectar or just fruit nectar
  • White granulated sugar
  • Raw sugar
  • Sucrose
  • Cane juice or sugar cane juice
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Evaporated corn sweetener
  • Glucose
  • Crystal dextroseWhen you buy canned fruit, look for fruit that is packaged in juice or water, not syrup. Drink diet soda or water and take it easy on the blended coffees. Snack on cheese, whole grain crackers, vegetables, fruits, or yogurt instead of sugary foods like cookies, candy, or cake.

    If you suffer from hypertension or have a family member who does, you should know that a link between excessive sugar consumption and hypertension has been found. Cutting back on your sugar consumption can lower your blood pressure and improve your heart health, but that’s not the only reason you should do it. Eating less sugar can make it easier to control your weight, and get the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy without going over your daily calorie limit.

2 Major Health Consequences of Residing Near Highways

2 Major Health Consequences of Residing Near HighwaysAn estimated 35 million Americans live within 984 feet of major roads, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Being close to prominent highways might make your daily commute to work shorter and easier, but two recent research endeavors found that it also raises women’s heart disease risks.

One study associated living by main roads with increased sudden cardiac death chances. Another linked residents’ proximities to highways with elevating hypertension even more. Canadian pharmaciesfill prescriptions for heart conditions, high blood pressure, and numerous other illnesses. Learn the many advantages of buying the best Canadian drugs online.

1. Sudden Cardiac Death

Researchers reviewed data on over 107,130 mostly white middle-aged to elderly women averaging 60 years old. These middle- to upper-class subjects participated in the Nurses’ Health Study between 1986 and 2012. Living near major roads increased their risks of sudden cardiac deaths to match those of smoking, poor diet habits, and obesity.

The investigators calculated residential distances to bustling thoroughfares and made adjustments for many other factors like age, race, smoking status, physical activity levels, diet, and calendar time. With 523 sudden cardiac death cases, participants whose homes were 164 feet away from busy roadways had a 38-percent greater likelihood of sudden cardiac arrest and imminent death than women who lived 10 times further away. This risk rose by 6 percent per each 328 feet that women lived closer to highly traveled roads. Among the 1159 coronary heart disease fatalities, risk rose by 24 percent.

While previous research detected a moderately increased chance of coronary heart disease for people living by primary roadways, this new study might be the first one to investigate how proximity impacts sudden cardiac death odds. The researchers noted that highway proximity may be an indicator for unhealthy air pollution exposure that corresponds to the top sudden cardiac death risk factors.

Lead study author Dr. Jaime Hart, Sc.D., from Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, notes that physicians may be overlooking environmental exposures as heart disease risk factors. The next step involves determining which specific aspects like air pollution are responsible for the heart disease/highway proximity link.

2. Hypertension

Another research team studied 5,400 postmenopausal Women’s Health Initiative participants living between 300 feet and over half a mile from principal California roadways. Those whose homes were 328 feet from highways with excess air pollution had a 22-percent higher likelihood of developing hypertension than women who resided a minimum of 0.3 miles, or 3280 feet, away from highly trafficked roads. This risk increased the closer subjects were to expressways.

Hypertension is a real issueThe investigators took factors such as age, ethnicity, smoking status, cholesterol levels, diabetic diagnoses, weight and height, physical activity levels, local food qualities, education, and income into account. Study author Gregory Wellenius, assistant epidemiology professor at Brown University’s School of Public Health, reports that about 80 percent of Americans are city dwellers today. So being aware of the health ramifications of urban environments is essential for residents, city planners, and public health officials.

Other studies have associated chronic noise and traffic-induced air pollution with high blood pressure. This one shows that Americans should be concerned about how their surrounding environments and living in urban developments near well-occupied highways and public transportation systems can impair their health. Wellenius asserts that community planners need to reconsider potential health hazards before locating residential developments close to major roadways.

Experts Comment

Researchers tend to blame fine particles floating in the air near highways for comprising heart health. Noise, bright lights, and congestion also are main concerns about residing close to well-traveled thoroughfares, per Kurt Kielisch, the Forensic Group’s president and senior appraiser.

In spite of research showing that traffic exposure presents multiple public health threats, real estate authorities report that homebuyers aren’t avoiding houses near jam-packed roadways. The majority of house hunters never voice pollution concerns when they’re looking for new residences, according to realtor Rochelle Fitzgerald. Typically, those requesting homes near highways are career-driven people seeking the fastest routes to their workplaces.

People who are used to loud city living show the least concern about choosing residences near expressways. Some who grew up near highways prefer locations where the familiar hum of traffic lulls them to sleep. Or people moving from big cities to smaller town don’t consider high-traffic areas to be problematic.

American Heart Association spokesperson Dr. Russell Luepker, M.D., from the University of Minnesota notes the importance of the growing body of evidence that living by high-traffic roadways poses multiple health dangers. He contends that the consequences outweigh the convenience advantages. Because housing developments are on the rise, Hart encourages community planners to advise developers about the increasing physical and mental health concerns of living in close proximity to crowded highways.

How to Lower Your Risks

If you don’t want to move away from loud, congested, polluted highways, adopting healthy habits can help. University of California cardiology professor Dr. Gregg Fonarow notes that hypertension is a key yet controllable risk factor of stroke, heart attack, heart failure, and fatal heart disease. Luepker recommends making your family’s health your first priority. No matter where your home is located, he and Hart advise heart-healthy practices like a nutritious diet, sustaining optimal weight, exercising regularly, not smoking, and reducing stress to help lower your heart and blood vessel disease odds.

Neurotic Women May Have Increased Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

nov25-1Around 5.2 million Americans have received diagnoses for Alzheimer’s disease, an incurable, progressive, and ultimately fatal illness. The most prevalent dementia type, it’s famous for stealing crucial memories. The Alzheimer’s Association reports that it also impairs language, focusing, decision-making, and visual perception abilities.

Swedish scientists discovered that women with neurotic personalities who also undergo prolonged stress during middle age might have twice the risk of Alzheimer’s disease developing in later life than those with more calm dispositions and lives. This research that the Neurology journal published is the first to show that one midlife personality style increases this dementia form’s likelihood over an extended 38-year study period. Luckily, neuroses, stress, and Alzheimer’s are treatable. Order discount medications for these and many other conditions from

Establishing the Connection

According to the study authors, neuroticism means suffering from distress easily and displaying jealous, anxious, or moody personality traits. People with these attributes have increased tendencies to be more emotional, struggle with lower self-esteem, and express long-term anger, envy, guilt, worry, and depression to fairly severe and relentless degrees. The researchers analyzed 800 women to determine if a link exists between middle-aged neuroticism and developing late-life Alzheimer’s disease. They began in 1968 when the middle-aged participants were between the ages of 38 and 54. Then they followed the same subjects for the next 38 years until they were seniors from 76 to 92 years old.

All women took personality and memory tests that assessed their neurotic levels and determined if they were introverted including reserved and shy, or extraverted as in outgoing. The investigators also asked the candidates if they’d experienced prolonged stress that lasted at least one month. They rated their constant stress levels for the prior five years on a scale of zero through five. Common stress responses were nervousness, fearfulness, irritability, sleep disturbances, and tension.

Being either an introvert or extrovert by itself didn’t affect dementia risks. But the researchers correlated greater neurotic levels with higher chances of Alzheimer’s disease occurrences. Women with high levels of both neuroticism and introversion with easy distress and withdrawal qualities at the beginning of the study had twice the Alzheimer’s disease risk of those with low neuroticism combined with high extroversion. The investigators also reviewed the women’s hospital records and neurological exam results to complete their final Alzheimer’s statistics. One-fourth of the high-risk women went on to develop the disease while just 13 percent of outgoing or extroverted participants who didn’t become upset easily became Alzheimer’s patients eventually.

Lena Johansson, this study’s author and a researcher at the University of Gothenburg’s Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, believes that her results also could be accurate for men. The data that came from research beginning during the 1960s included just women, despite men being the focus of most medical studies during that period. Many issues including high cholesterol and hypertension can lead to this multifactorial disease. Now, Johansson and her collaborators believe that personality-induced behaviors also may be contributing Alzheimer’s factors.

Explaining this Hazardous Combination

nov25-2Scientists aren’t clear why neuroticism, introversion, and stress are a dangerous mixture for women’s brains. Doctors know that personality can influence behaviors, lifestyles, and stress reactions, and all of these can affect overall health. So an obvious theory is that neurotic women are more apt to engage in unhealthy habits like excess smoking and drinking. But Johansson and her team offer another explanation. They believe that stress increases the cortisol hormone in neurotic women’s brains, which initiates changes that might damage their memory, cognition, and learning capacities.

Genetics propel personality styles and diseases, according to the Alzheimer’s Association’s Dean Hartley, who wasn’t part of this study. But the medical community has limited knowledge about how personality types promote diseases. Hartley notes that the new study’s method involved researchers asking subjects about their stress after each five-year interval instead of measuring particular biochemical stress responses. Johansson contends that her long-term study addressed how stress and its consequences might instigate behavioral transformations that can increase Alzheimer’s disease risk factors.

This study supports previous research on how personality impacts dementia likelihood. In an earlier study, Johansson and her colleagues discovered that women who had endured significant midlife stressors had greater probability of developing dementia in later life. Other investigators associated neuroticism and stress with changes in the hippocampus, the brain structure that early Alzheimer’s affects. Research also has linked neuroticism to increased brain tangles, a known characteristic of this debilitating disease.

Embracing Preventative Efforts

Before you expect the worst to happen, know that having a neurotic personality doesn’t necessarily doom you to dementia. Johansson discovered that her neurotic study subjects who reported not feeling stress didn’t have higher Alzheimer’s risks. Keeping your life calm and handling any stressors well won’t raise your disease chances. Because long-term stress is dangerous, she advises taking care of symptoms like frequent or ongoing distress, irritation, and sleeping problems.

Dr. Galvin, an NYU Langone Medical Center professor, agrees that identifying modifiable aspects early may help reduce much later memory problems and Alzheimer’s other declining outcomes. The Calm Clinic recommends multiple methods. Physical activity is a stress reliever that releases mood-enhancing chemicals in your brain. Progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing, meditation, and visualization are helpful. But just skipping stones on a lake or walking your dog also may reduce tension while encouraging tranquility and an upbeat attitude.

You Can Prevent Another Stroke With Plavix and a Healthy Lifestyle

Posted on 28 October, 2014  in Hypertension

If you’ve already had one stroke, you’re 10 times more likely to have another one than someone who has never had a stroke at all. But with the help of medication and the right lifestyle, up to 80 percent of strokes are preventable.

First, it’s important to address any underlying health conditions that may have contributed to your first stroke. Medications like the blood thinner Plavix are helpful for preventing stroke, but it’s also important to control high blood pressure and other diseases that cause stroke. Living right is the other piece of the puzzle — maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, avoiding tobacco, and not drinking too much alcohol can all go a long way toward helping you stave off another stroke.

oct28-1Treat Conditions that Cause Stroke

If you’ve already had a stroke, chances are an underlying medical condition caused it. Some conditions that cause stroke include:

  • Hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol

You should also treat any health conditions that affect your blood circulation, like anemia or sickle cell disease. Your doctor may prescribe one or more medications to treat health problems that raise your risk of stroke, like Plavix for conditions that affect blood clotting or Zetia for high cholesterol. High blood pressure alone can double or quadruple your stroke risk, so make sure you keep your blood pressure under control. Ideally, you’re aiming for a blood pressure reading of 120 over 80 or less. In addition to medication, diet, and exercise, quitting smoking can help you keep a handle on your blood pressure.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Eating the right foods and avoiding the wrong foods can help you control high blood pressure and can also be beneficial for other conditions, like diabetes. Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables — at least four or five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. You should also aim to eat several servings of whole grains every day. You should also try to limit your total calorie intake to between 1,500 and 2,000 calories a day. Eating more plant-based foods will make this easier, since plant-based foods are low in calories but high in filling dietary fiber.

Try to limit your intake of red meat, full-fat dairy and other foods containing a lot of cholesterol. Instead, dine on fish two or three times a week. Eat low-fat dairy and lean meats. Limit your salt intake to 1,500 milligrams a day — or about half a teaspoon — by choosing low-sodium foods and putting away the salt shaker when you’re cooking or eating.

oct28-2Get Plenty of Exercise

Physical activity helps lower blood pressure, but it also reduces your risk of stroke on its own merit. Moderate exercise for just a few hours a week can substantially cut your risk of stroke. You don’t have to wear yourself out; a 30-minute walk at least five days a week is enough. If you have trouble getting motivated to exercise — and who doesn’t — enlist some friends or relatives who are also interested in getting healthy to walk, jog, bicycle, or go to the gym with you.

If it’s hard to find a solid block of time in which to exercise, break it up into two or three 10 or 15 minute sessions throughout the day. Just make sure you talk to your doctor before you start an exercise regimen so you don’t overdo it.

Maintain a Healthy Body Weight

Being overweight or obese are risk factors for stroke, but losing as little as 10 pounds can greatly lower your risk of having another stroke. Exercising regularly will help you lose weight, but daily calorie intake is the really the bigger factor here. It takes a lot more physical activity than you might think to burn off a pound of body fat, so limit your daily calories and try to get your body mass index (BMI) down to between 18.5 and 24.9.

Have a Drink

There’s evidence to suggest that having two drinks a day if you’re a man or one drink a day if you’re a woman can help reduce your risk of having a stroke. Red wine is the best choice, because it’s chock full of a plant compound known as resveratrol that could protect you from heart disease. A single serving of wine is about five ounces, so don’t drink more than that.

Stick to just the one glass a day — more than that could increase your stroke risk. If you don’t drink or don’t drink much, don’t start drinking more just to protect yourself from stroke.

Don’t Smoke

Everyone knows that smoking causes lung cancer, but few people stop to think about the habit’s effect on your cardiovascular system. Smoking causes your blood to get thicker and promotes the buildup of arterial plaque, both of which can contribute to stroke. If you smoke, you should quit; smoking cessation aids like nicotine patches, medication, and counseling can double your chances of success. Even with help, you may need to try several times before you successfully quit; the average smoker quits six times before he or she succeeds. If someone in your household smokes, ask him or her to quit too, or at least to smoke outside so you’re not exposed to secondhand smoke.

If you’ve already had a stroke, your chances of having another one increase — but that doesn’t mean you’re at the mercy of the odds. You can take control of your health and take steps to reduce your stroke risk — and live a longer, healthier life.





Are You Bedridden or Had Recent Surgery? Prevent Deep Thrombosis With Blood Thinners

Are You Bedridden or Had Recent Surgery? Prevent Deep Thrombosis With Blood Thinners

Post-surgical and bedridden patients are at risk for developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT). This condition occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein, especially in the leg. Other risk factors include older age, obesity, smoking, personal or family history, and long operations. DVT can lead to debilitating swelling and chronic pain of the affected limb. Pulmonary emboli, blood clots that travel to the lungs, can cause pulmonary hypertension, and high blood pressure in your lungs’ arteries.

Anticoagulants or blood thinners like Lovenox (Enoxaparin) in prefilled syringes reduce your blood’s clotting ability. Regular injections stop existing clots from growing larger and help prevent new ones from developing. For convenience, shop additional drugs by condition to place one combination order.

DVT Rates Correspond to Lovenox Doses

Missed blood thinner treatments account for much of the deep vein thrombosis that surgery and trauma patients experience, according to a recent study. Scott G. Louis, M.D., and his Oregon Health and Science University colleagues monitored 202 patients in a level 1 trauma center. Of the 59 percent who missed at least one Lovenox dose, 16 percent developed DVT. The DVT rate was 24 percent in patients who missed at least one dose of the low-molecular-weight heparin, compared to just 5 percent among those with uninterrupted therapy.

Withholding treatment was the only independent risk factor aside from older age. It also was the only identified DVT risk factor that doctors could adjust. The rigorous standardized protocol for thromboembolic detection included bilateral whole-leg duplex ultrasonography on a weekly basis for ICU and trauma patients and whenever researchers suspected events in general surgery patients. They concluded that optimizing efforts to minimize interrupted treatment in at-risk patients decreases DVT incidence.

Risks of Skipping Treatments

In Louis’ study of prospectively collected data, the DVT rate didn’t differ between surgical and trauma patients or in those on once- versus twice-daily regimens. About half of patients who didn’t develop DVT missed a dose, but that rate jumped to 88 percent for those who developed the condition.

DVT risk odds rose by the number of skipped Lovenox doses:

  • 8.49 percent higher with two to four withheld treatments
  • 10.13 for five to eight drug gaps
  • 14.73 due to nine to 17 missed doses

Beyond 17 medication interruptions, the relationship ceased to exist, probably because the sample size was small. The researchers didn’t detect any pulmonary emboli.

Reducing Missed Injections

Although clinicians tend to agree that pharmacologic prophylaxis should begin as soon as possible based on each patient’s bleeding risk, the study team noted that doctors decided to withhold Lovenox doses often without assessing the consequences comprehensively. Common reasons for stopping treatment include pending procedures, absence of patients from their hospital rooms, and epidural catheter use.

While the researchers don’t advocate continuing anticoagulation medication during high-risk operations like intracranial and spinal procedures, studies and guidelines support their recommendation of not stopping blood thinners for less serious surgeries ranging from dental procedures to cardiac device implantations. They suggest that doctors address interrupted treatment due to nursing errors and patient refusal by educating both groups on the risks.

This study’s significant findings instigated a quality improvement measure at the team’s hospital. The researchers trained surgeons about the adverse consequences of missed doses. These interventions reduced the percentage of withheld doses.

Post-Surgical Prevention Program Decreased Blood Clots

Post-Surgical Injection to Reduce Blood Clots

The Boston Medical Center surgical quality improvement study reduced the odds of patients developing blood clots in their lower extremities or lungs. Researchers tested a multicomponent prevention program that included anticoagulants on all patients undergoing general and vascular surgery procedures. Investigators compared VTE incidences two years before and after implementing the prevention program in February 2011. DVT frequency declined by 84 percent, and pulmonary emboli occurrence decreased by 55 percent.

Pre-program odds of a patient having post-op VTE were 3.4 times worse than the investigators expected, after adjusting for patient risk. Two years into the program, this risk dropped to 0.94, better than they anticipated. DVT frequency declined from 1.9 percent of 1569 patients to 0.3 percent of 1323 patients. Pulmonary emboli rates fell from 1.1 percent of 1569 patients to 0.5 percent of 1323 patients.

Positive Results May Help Other Hospitals

Co-investigator David McAneny, M.D., FACS, vice chair of surgery, and other researchers developed the venous thromboembolism (VTE) prevention program to make sure that high-risk patients get necessary treatment. Initially, they emphasized early postoperative mobilization. Following surgery, patients walked three times a day whenever possible.

Later, the study team expanded the program to include these components:

  • Mandatory electronic reminders regarding VTE prevention for surgical teams before and after operations and at patient discharge
  • Electronic physician orders specifying individualized risk-based prevention plans including blood-clotting risk assessments, early mobilization, inflatable pressure boots and/or low-dose anticoagulation medications with suggested hospital durations (and at-home continuation periods for patients with high risk scores)
  • Patient education on the importance of blood clot prevention

Physician compliance rates for ordering VTE blood thinners were 100 percent for patients at low or moderate risk and 77 percent for those at the highest risk levels. When opting out of prescribing recommended preventive medications, doctors had to indicate their reasons. Patient record explanations included drug allergies, active bleeding, and hemorrhage risks outweighing VTE chances. Dr. McAneny noted that the prevention program’s success at combining individualized risk assessments, early ambulation, and preventative treatments may serve as a model for other hospitals.