Monday March 18, 2019

Almost Half Of U.S. Adults Suffer From Heart Or Blood Vessel Disease: Report

Heart and blood vessel disease is linked to 1 of every 3 deaths in the United States and kills more Americans than all forms of cancer and respiratory diseases like pneumonia combined.

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A monitor shows a three-dimensional image of a human heart at the Klaus-Tschira-Institute for Integrative Computational Cardiology, department of the Heidelberg University Hospital, in Heidelberg, Germany, Aug. 14, 2018. VOA

A new report estimates that nearly half of all U.S. adults have some form of heart or blood vessel disease, a medical milestone that’s mostly due to recent guidelines that expanded how many people have high blood pressure.

The American Heart Association said Thursday that more than 121 million adults had cardiovascular disease in 2016. Taking out those with only high blood pressure leaves 24 million, or 9 percent of adults, who have other forms of disease such as heart failure or clogged arteries.

Measuring the burden of diseases shows areas that need to improve, the heart association’s chief science and medical officer, Dr. Mariell Jessup, said in a statement.

Traditional pacemakers use leads with electrodes on one end that are threaded through blood vessels to connect to the heart.
Traditional pacemakers use leads with electrodes on one end that are threaded through blood vessels to connect to the heart. Wikimedia Commons

High blood pressure, which had long been defined as a top reading of at least 140 or a bottom one of 90, dropped to 130 over 80 under guidelines adopted in 2017. It raises the risk for heart attacks, strokes and many other problems, and only about half of those with the condition have it under control.

Being diagnosed with high blood pressure doesn’t necessarily mean you need medication right away; the first step is aiming for a healthier lifestyle, even for those who are prescribed medicine. Poor diets, lack of exercise and other bad habits cause 90 percent of high blood pressure.

Pregnancy, Breast Cancer
High blood pressure, which had long been defined as a top reading of at least 140 or a bottom one of 90, dropped to 130 over 80 under guidelines adopted in 2017.

The report is an annual statistics update by the heart association, the National Institutes of Health and others.

Other highlights:

  • Heart and blood vessel disease is linked to 1 of every 3 deaths in the United States and kills more Americans than all forms of cancer and respiratory diseases like pneumonia combined.
  • Certain groups have higher rates than others; 57 percent of black women and 60 percent of black males.

Also Read: Injecting Drugs May up Bacterial Heart Infections: Study

  • Coronary heart disease, or clogged or hardened arteries, caused 43 percent of cardiovascular deaths in the U.S., followed by stroke (17 percent), high blood pressure (10 percent) and heart failure (9 percent). (VOA)

Next Story

Study Reveals Medicine Taken To Treat High Blood Pressure Can Lead An Increased Risk of Sudden Cardiac Arrest

The results, presented at the annual congress of European Heart Rhythm Association 2019 in Lisbon, showed that high-dose (60 mg/day) nifedipine was significantly associated with an increased risk of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest with any dose of amlodipine. 

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"Nifedipine and amlodipine are often used by many cardiologists and other physicians, and the choice often depends on the prescriber's preference and personal experience," said Hanno Tan, cardiologist at the Academic Medical Center. VOA

A drug commonly used to treat high blood pressure and chest pain could be associated with an increased risk of sudden cardiac arrest, according to a study.

Doctors from the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, examined over 60,000 people to determine whether nifedipine and amlodipine or dihydropyridines — widely used for high blood pressure and angina — were linked with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

The results, presented at the annual congress of European Heart Rhythm Association 2019 in Lisbon, showed that high-dose (60 mg/day) nifedipine was significantly associated with an increased risk of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest with any dose of amlodipine.

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In sudden cardiac arrest, the heart stops pumping after a cardiac arrhythmia (ventricular fibrillation/tachycardia). This can be lethal if untreated. Pixabay

There was no risk associated with amlodipine.

“Nifedipine and amlodipine are often used by many cardiologists and other physicians, and the choice often depends on the prescriber’s preference and personal experience,” said Hanno Tan, cardiologist at the Academic Medical Center.

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A drug commonly used to treat high blood pressure and chest pain could be associated with an increased risk of sudden cardiac arrest, according to a study. Pixabay

The findings are surprising given that both the drugs have been in use for many years.

However, the researchers urged caution when interpreting the results.

Also Read: Planning A Major Vigil And Memorial, Place to Grieve for Shaken Christchurch Residents

“The findings need to be replicated in other studies before action could be taken by doctors or patients,” Tan said.

In sudden cardiac arrest, the heart stops pumping after a cardiac arrhythmia (ventricular fibrillation/tachycardia). This can be lethal if untreated. (IANS)