May is High Blood Pressure Awareness Month, the perfect time to share recent articles of interest related to blood pressure measurement and hypertension.
Different Risk Factors for Men and Women
Hypertension is the single most important risk factor for stroke. It causes about 50 per cent of ischemic (clot-related) strokes and increases the risk of hemorrhagic stroke. In the January 2017 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers noted that though the incidence of stroke is higher in men than in women, “the influence of sex-specific risk factors on stroke incidence and mortality is largely unknown.” Through a review of existing literature and a meta-analysis, they identified both female-specific and male-specific characteristics, suggesting that doctors can consider these differentiating factors to improve individualized risk assessment.
How Age Affects a Hypertension Diagnosis
In “Hypertension in Older Patients, a Retrospective Cohort Study,” researchers considered what effect patient age might have on a hypertension diagnosis. They found that general practitioners are less likely to diagnoses the disorder in older patients (though they also noted that once diagnosed, older patients receive comparable treatment). “Increasing life expectancy will lead to larger numbers of older patients,” they noted, “yet the optimal management of HT in this age group has not been elucidated.”
White-Coat Hypertension Is Real. Is It Also Dangerous?
We’ve blogged before about “white-coat hypertension,” the spike in blood pressure readings some patients see while at the doctor’s office (presumably due to the stress of the exam or environment). In the April 2017 issue of the Journal of Hypertension, researchers looked at whether this is an “innocent” phenomenon, or if these higher readings are a warning sign, even if the patient records lower readings when monitoring at home. Other studies have been done in the past, but with this meta-analysis scientists concluded that white-coat hypertension “was associated with higher risks of cardiovascular disease and total mortality.” They recommend close follow-up monitoring of these patients.
- “Female- and Male-Specific Risk Factors for Stroke: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.” Michiel H. F. Poorthuis, MD; Annemijn M. Algra, MD; Ale Algra, MD; et al L. Jaap Kappelle, MD; Catharina J. M. Klijn, MD. JAMA Neurol: 2017, 74(1):75-81.
- “Hypertension in Older Patients, a Retrospective Cohort Study.” C. G. H. Blok, M. A. J. de Ridder, K. M. C. Verhamme, and P. W. Moorman. BMC Geriatrics: 2016, 16:142
- “White-coat Hypertension Is a Risk Factor for Cardiovascular Diseases and Total Mortality.” Huang, Yuli; Huang, Weijun; Mai, Weiyi; Cai, Xiaoyan; An, Dongqi; Liu, Zhuheng; Huang, He; Zeng, Jianping; Hu, Yunzhao; Xu, Dingli. Journal of Hypertension: April 2017, Volume 35, Issue 4, p 677–688.
~ Quoted from adctoday.com.