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Depression is more than just feeling sad
Sept 19th 2017
Many of us could be putting ourselves at risk of an early stroke, Blood Pressure UK has warned.
The charity said unhealthy lifestyles, stress and poor diets are causing more young people to be diagnosed with high blood pressure (hypertension).
High blood pressure put extra strain on your heart and blood vessels. Over time, this increases your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
The proportion of strokes in people of working age (those aged 25 to 64) has increased despite an overall drop in the number of strokes. That means younger people than before are suffering from the life-threatening condition.
Blood Pressure UK is urging the public, regardless of their age, to check their blood pressure as part of Know Your Numbers! Week.
The Know Your Numbers! campaign is the UK's biggest free blood pressure testing event held at 'Pressure Stations' around the country from 18-24 September 2017. Volunteers hosting the Pressure Stations provide information and advice on simple steps to keep blood pressure under control and will measure your blood pressure accurately.
Being overweight, not exercising and eating too much salt are all key risk factors for developing high blood pressure. Hypertension was responsible for approximately 75,000 deaths in the UK in 2015, warns the charity.
Professor Graham MacGregor, Chairman of Blood Pressure UK said: "High blood pressure kills thousands of people every year in the UK, and is almost entirely preventable. By lowering the population's blood pressure even a small amount, we could save the NHS over £1billion every year."As an individual having your blood pressure checked is the most important step that you can take to reduce your risk of stroke, heart attack or heart failure."
Katharine Jenner, CEO of Blood Pressure UK says: "High blood pressure does not discriminate on age – People are dying unnecessarily because they fail to take such simple steps to reduce their blood pressure. Everyone is at risk and therefore it's essential to know your blood pressure numbers."
Related: Teen High Blood Pressure Can Cause Organ Damage
Aug 21st 2017
Scientists have discovered a new symptom that could be a sign that a heart attack is imminent.
After examining materials that were blocking the coronary arteries of a number of patients, a team of scientists and medical experts at Michigan State University confirmed that it was cholesterol - in the form of crystals.
They found that this particular type of hardened cholesterol was found in over 89 per cent of emergency room cases.
“In previous studies, we showed that when cholesterol goes from a liquid to a solid, or crystal state, it expands in volume like ice and water,” said Dr George Abela, professor of medicine at Michigan State University.
“This expansion inside the wall of the artery can tear it and block blood flow causing a heart attack or stroke.”
By examining patients in more than 240 emergency rooms across the US, once a heart attack patient was admitted the team would suction out the crystals and examine their size and hardness.
They discovered that the large clusters of crystals had managed to break through the plaque and walls of the arteries, even entering the heart itself.
As well causing physical damage by tearing through the arteries, the scientists were also able to confirm that these crystals activated the production of inflammation molecules called Interleukin-1 beta, which can inflame and aggravate arteries.
Now, as well as having a better understanding of a key symptom before a heart attack, this research also reinforces the notion that plenty of exercise and good dietary choices have a proven ability to reduce the formation of these crystals in the first place.
According to the NHS, other symptoms of heart attack can include chest pain which radiates from the best to the jaw, neck, arms and back, shortness of breath, feeling week or lightheaded and an overwhelming feeling of anxiety.
Aug 13th 2017
People who smoke weed are three times more likely to die from high blood pressure than those who do not, new research suggests.
Scientists in the US analysed data from marijuana users against non-users to determine the risk of death from hypertension (high blood pressure).
They found that compared to non-users, marijuana users had a 3.42-times higher risk of death from hypertension.
The researchers also found that the amount of time a person has spent smoking weed makes a difference, with a 1.04-times greater risk for each year of use.
However, Dr Willie Lawrence, an interventional cardiologist and spokesperson for the American Heart Association, has called the research “flawed”.
Lead author Barbara Yankey, a PhD student at Georgia State University, Atlanta, investigated the subject due to ongoing debate about the legalisation of marijuana in the US.
The study concluded that marijuana users had a three times higher risk of dying from hypertension. There was no link between marijuana use and death from heart disease or cerebrovascular disease.
The study is published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
Get your blood pressure checked ASAP
Unfortunately hypertension-warning-signs for most of the population, there aren't any warning signs, a few people will get headaches and maybe blurred vision but generally speaking your blood pressure can be too high and you will be completely unaware until you take the wise move of getting your doctor to check it for you.
July 24th 2017
Why not make an appointment with your doctor today.
Your body could be quietly killing itself
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March 21st 2017
Too much salt in our diets is causing up to 14,000 preventable deaths every year according to health campaigners.
And food producers, they say, are not meeting voluntary reduction targets because it would drive down their profits.
It is called the hidden killer, causing strokes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
Professor Graham MacGregor, chairman of Consensus on Salt and Health (CASH), said: "The easiest way to make bland, cheap food more palatable is to add salt - and salt is practically free.
"This is a national scandal. The UK was leading the world in salt reduction, but the Government is doing nothing to ensure that the 2017 salt targets are met."
Professor MacGregor is urging the Government to impose strict limits on the amount of salt used in processed foods.
So far only one out of 28 food categories is on track to meet 2017 salt reduction targets. That is bread rolls.
A product survey, which was conducted using the updated FoodSwitch UK app and its SaltSwitch filter, compared two shopping baskets, each containing similar everyday food items, but with different amounts of salt.
The difference in salt content between the unhealthy and healthy baskets of products was 57g of salt.
Findings revealed many products exceed the maximum salt reduction targets.
Galaxy Ultimate Marshmallow Hot Chocolate is saltier than seawater and has 16 times more salt (per 100g) than the maximum target - one serving is saltier than a bag of crisps, the study found.
Katharine Jenner, registered nutritionist and campaign director for CASH, said: "Salt is the forgotten killer.
"The findings from our FoodSwitch shopping basket survey are alarming and we are shocked to see that many food manufacturers and retailers are still failing to meet the salt reduction targets, despite having had years to work towards them.
"We congratulate the other, more responsible manufacturers, that have successfully achieved them, or are on track to meet them by the end of the year - which shows it is possible.
"With only nine months to go, action must be taken now."
The app was able to demonstrate in all 28 categories there were products with at least 30% less salt, which would meet the maximum salt reduction target.
CASH said the shopping basket analysis reaffirms the public health goal of consuming no more than 6g of salt per person per day is achievable, but said manufacturers are dragging their heels.
Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England, said: "The food industry has reduced the amount of salt found in our foods by 11% in recent years, which is encouraging progress.
"We know there is more to do. This is why we're talking to retailers, manufacturers, and the eating out of home sector on how they go further and faster to reaching the 2017 salt reduction targets."
It is recommended that you cut down on the amount of salt that you have in your diet too much salt is one of the things that gives you high blood pressure, in addition you should eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, aim to eat 5x80 g portions of fruit and vegetables every day, have a low-fat diet that includes lots of fibre, wholegrain rice pasta and bread these minerals and fibre will keep your body in good condition.
Limit your drinking, staying within the advice levels will definitely reduce the risk of you developing high blood pressure also alcohol contains a lot of calories which inevitably makes you put on weight which will also increase your blood pressure.
Being overweight will definitely increase your blood pressure by making it harder for your heart get your general health checked and check your BMI when you visit a doctor, but if you can't lose a few pounds it will make a big difference to your blood pressure readings and your general health.
Regular exercise will help you lose weight, you will have a job to exercise as much as they recommend but I recommend that you get yourself a Fitbit I find them to be very useful and certainly an encouragement to move yourself and eat well.
If you are unfortunate enough to have developed a smoking habit please do your best to cut down as much as you can and ideally give it up altogether, smoking causes your arteries to narrow which is definitely not a good idea when combined with hypertension, you can get lots of help these days to give up smoking, and if the threat of lung disease doesn't stop you smoking please seek help.
Drinking too much tea and coffee also will not help to control your blood pressure, these drinks together with cola and some energy drinks can be the reason why your blood pressure is elevated.
Now don't be a fool to yourself, you only get one body so it is up to you to make it last as long as possible, make sure that you are not the one that is walking around ignorant of the fact that you have hypertension, (high blood pressure) and it is slowly killing you.
The good thing is the doctor can give you a very simple little pill for you to take once-a-day to bring your blood pressure back to normal.