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Blood Pressure News Roundup

A selection of interesting articles from the press related to blood pressure for the week ending 12th November 2004.

Please note: the author is not a medical professional, but a patient with high blood pressure. Nothing on this website should be taken as medical advice, please read the full disclaimer. My personal recommendation is if you suspect you have high blood pressure, you should immediately talk to your doctor about it. I did, and they made me feel 100% better.

1/ Labels can be deceiving in battle to lower blood pressure through healthier diet By BETHANY CARSON – H and R Staff Writer

Comment: I have never added salt to food, but while I was in hospital for high blood pressure the doctors put me on a low salt diet. A couple of days after I got out, I ate some very salty food (potato chips). My heart started to beat very strangely and I didn’t feel very well at all.

That absolutely convinced me that salt is not a good idea for me.

This article talks about how a label may lead you to think a food is low in salt, but that may not be true.

2/ Doubts over blood pressure drug on BBC News

Comment: This article reports on a study which found that a popular beta blocker drug does not reduce cardiovascular deaths and heart attacks. The drug in question is atenolol, a beta blocker. I take a beta blocker (Betaloc/metoprolol). The article makes it clear that there are still good reasons to take a beta blocker.

The beta blocker is only one of a number of drugs I take to control my blood pressure, and my completely unscientific opinion is that it helps me!

3/ Olive oil reduces blood pressure on Nutra Ingredients

Comment: I am almost out of olive oil, time to put some more on the shopping list!

4/ High blood pressure linked to severe brain lesions on HeartCenterOnline by Reuters Health

Comment: When I was first diagnosed with severe hypertension, I remember one of the first things the doctors did was roll me down the corridor for a brain scan. I think I was in shock that day. I went for a normal checkup and ended up in hospital where all the doctors and nurses were acting like I was very sick.

As you could imagine, I was quiet pleased when they told me there was nothing wrong with my brain.

5/ Hypertension Drugs Serve Another Role on HealthCentral

Comment: A study finds they can save the lives of people with heart disease but whose blood pressure is normal. The drug is Norvasc (amlodipine), a calcium channel blocker. I take Norvasc. One nice thing about being on so many hypertension drugs, is that I can read info on blood pressure meds, and nine times out of ten, I am covered!

6/ ‘Normal’ blood pressure may not be low enough By Gina Kolata on The New York Times

Comment: … and just when I thought I was getting over the white coat effect they go and lower the bar. I took my lowest reading ever on my home monitor this morning; 92/68 … can it go any lower?!

7/ Search Engine Factoid: Not really news, but I was looking up “Norvasc” on a website which tells you how many times people search for things on the internet (For those that are interested, they estimate that “Norvasc” is searched for 300 times per day. What caught my eye is that on average, every day, 3 people search for “norvasc for dogs” … now that is dedication to your pets health!


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