Weight loss & nutrition / Blood pressure
COURTNEY HERGESHEIMER DISPATCH Dr. Kevin O’Reilly works with patient Billy Joe Ridenour, 81, of Grove City, to lower his high blood pressure.
HYPERTENSION Awareness Rising
By Ben Sutherly THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
Billy Joe Ridenour was surprised when he received the diagnosis a decade ago. He had persistent high blood pressure, or hypertension. “For so long, I didn’t have blood-pressure problems,” the 81-year-old Grove City man said. “All at once, it came out.” In some ways, Ridenour is lucky. If detected early, it can be treated with medication and further mitigated through proper diet and exercise. For others, the first symptom can be a heart attack or stroke. By then, hypertension often is too late to address.
Experts say part of the problem is a lack of awareness and control of the disease, the leading chronic risk factor for death, accounting for 13.5 percent of all mortality worldwide. “It’s a time bomb,” said Dr. Sanjay Rajagopalan, a cardiologist who specializes in vascular medicine at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center.
Yet there seemed to be a sliver of good news in a report issued last month by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that found that the prevalence of self-reported hypertension among adults increased about 10 percent nationwide between 2005 and 2009, and 15 percent in Ohio. That might have been partly due to greater awareness of the disease. “We do think that patients are becoming more aware of high blood pressure,” said Dr. Gary Ansel, an interventional cardiologist and medical chief of Ohio Health’s vascular program. Among U.S. residents surveyed in the CDC report, 28.3 percent said they had hypertension in 2009. That’s up from 25.8 percent in 2005. In Ohio, the rate rose from 25.9 percent to 29.8 percent.
The prevalence of self-reported hypertension in 2009 — adjusted to account for changes in the age distribution of the population — ranged from 20.9 percent in Minnesota to 35.9 percent in Mississippi. Hypertension is present when a person’s blood pressure is 140/90 or higher. The higher rates aren’t surprising, given the aging of the U.S. population and the nation’s obesity epidemic, said Dr. Kevin O’Reilly, with Columbus Nephrology on the Mount Carmel West campus. The risk of hypertension increases with age; the prevalence among those younger than 40 was 6.8 percent, but it was 66.7 percent among people older than 60.
Another CDC report issued earlier this month found there’s still room for improvement in hypertension awareness, particularly to address ethnic disparities. The proportion of patients with stage 2 hypertension — blood pressure of at least 160/100 — was 19.2 percent among Mexican-Americans, 17.7 percent among blacks and 12.3 percent among whites.
Carla I. Mercado, a CDC epidemiologist, said greater awareness could be achieved in part by placing machines that measure blood pressure in drugstores and supermarkets. “It’s good to know your numbers,” Mercado said.
Greater awareness doesn’t necessarily translate into more control of the condition. In 2009-10, 53.3 percent of U.S. adults had their hypertension under control, according to the CDC. Poor adherence to medication and a reluctance to change one’s lifestyle are reasons that hypertension often goes uncontrolled, Rajagopalan said.
- A diet that’s low in sodium and rich in fruits and vegetables is key and can significantly reduce blood pressure. So can weight loss, O’Reilly said.
- Physicians also must make the right decisions to lower a patient’s blood pressure, Rajagopalan said. Some are not always as attentive to adjusting a patient’s medication as they should be, he said. In many cases, he said, physicians find that they can effectively treat hypertension with small doses of multiple drugs, limiting each medication’s potential side effects.
Ridenour said his high blood pressure now is under control. He takes just one medication for hypertension, down from three in the past. And he has reduced his consumption of salt, which he admits has been a sacrifice. “Now I can’t have it, and I want it,” he said.
I guess the message here is that people are beginning to become more more aware of the importance of HYPERTENSION and yes, that would be a good thing. The disturbing thing to me is that not too much has changed. Medicine really doesn’t have “control” over this disease. We are still stuck in the same ole, same ole and often, multiple drugs at that – – each carrying their own unique side effects which also afflict the body.
Hypertension and the cardiac, stroke and renal implications are so interwoven, serious and seemingly intractable that it is indeed a major problem – – WORLDWIDE! So much more needs to be done. Since this area afflicts your truly, I have endeavored to pay particular attention to it. This is why I have paid especial attention to relating relevant passages to my readers about Dr. Clark, her books and teachings especially those discussing the kidney cleanses and what she advocates. Also, why the excitement I felt in discovering Dr. Seelig and her book which I recently wrote about on the Magnesium Factor and became all but crazed when I learned of the PAN SALT she helped put together with the doctors in Finland wherein they as a nation lowered the incidence of heart, HBP and stroke disease by 70% to 80% nationwide – demanding the food services throughout the country also use Pan Salt. This post was done (5-21-13) Dr Jonathan Wright has been making a version of PAN SALT called Wright Salt for several years now, so this is open to us now.
I am hoping for results as nothing seems to help me. I may be a lost cause. (or something). Take BP meds, eat really clean with oodles of veggies (juicing etc); over last year or so, have lost more than 30 pounds, have only used sea salt, but have no salt problems – my blood tests have been quite good by all counts. It isn’t just that PAN SALT is lower in salt level, but includes hefty amounts of potassium and magnesium and trace amounts of Iodine. etc.. so this is why it works so well.
Of course, there is no question that we must cooperate with our doctors if we want to resolve this thing. Gotta move that body, learn to have some fun and laugh a lot and love even more. Don’t smoke; eat right (clean, whole food – no toxic junk); eliminate all the chemicals you can from your life and poisons like sugar and HFCS; learn to read labels. Look with eyes of understanding at the next one, we all are doing the best we can and at our own pace. Nobody needs critical judgementalness from those from whom we would prefer to receive love and understanding and maybe a little encouragement.. . .just sayin’. . Jan)