Health

The latest on caffeine limits

(HealthDay)—It seems as though every day brings yet another study on the effects of caffeine or coffee in particular. Researchers have looked at its effects on almost every aspect of health, from overall mortality to the ...

Cardiology

Hypertension poorly managed in low- and middle-income countries

Health systems in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are poorly prepared for the increasing number of people with high blood pressure, with more than two-thirds of people affected going without treatment, according ...

Medications

Common steroid could soften up tumors for chemo

A common drug used to alleviate side effects of cancer treatment may also make the treatment more successful if given beforehand, report a consortium of research institutions including the University of Connecticut.

Health

Sustainable savings on medical care

One popular idea for lowering the nation's ballooning health care spending is to change the way insurers pay provider organizations for their care. Instead of paying a fee for each service rendered—a model that can encourage ...

Overweight & Obesity

Should obesity be recognized as a disease?

With obesity now affecting almost a third (29%) of the population in England, and expected to rise to 35% by 2030, should we now recognise it as a disease? Experts debate the issue in The BMJ today.

Alzheimer's disease & dementia

Exercise offers protection against Alzheimer's

Higher levels of daily physical activity may protect against the cognitive decline and neurodegeneration (brain tissue loss) from Alzheimer's disease (AD) that alters the lives of many older people, researchers from Massachusetts ...

Surgery

A better avenue for neurosurgery to improve outcomes

For years cardiologists have threaded hair-like surgical instruments through arteries in the wrist, as an access point to perform procedures on the heart. For procedures in the brain, however, neurosurgeons more commonly ...

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Hypertension (HTN) or high blood pressure, sometimes arterial hypertension, is a chronic medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is elevated. This requires the heart to work harder than normal to circulate blood through the blood vessels. Blood pressure involves two measurements, systolic and diastolic, which depend on whether the heart muscle is contracting (systole) or relaxed (diastole) between beats. Normal blood pressure is at or below 120/80 mmHg. High blood pressure is said to be present if it is persistently at or above 140/90 mmHg.

Hypertension is classified as either primary (essential) hypertension or secondary hypertension; about 90–95% of cases are categorized as "primary hypertension" which means high blood pressure with no obvious underlying medical cause. The remaining 5–10% of cases (secondary hypertension) are caused by other conditions that affect the kidneys, arteries, heart or endocrine system.

Hypertension is a major risk factor for stroke, myocardial infarction (heart attacks), heart failure, aneurysms of the arteries (e.g. aortic aneurysm), peripheral arterial disease and is a cause of chronic kidney disease. Even moderate elevation of arterial blood pressure is associated with a shortened life expectancy. Dietary and lifestyle changes can improve blood pressure control and decrease the risk of associated health complications, although drug treatment is often necessary in patients for whom lifestyle changes prove ineffective or insufficient.

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