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Newsletter Issue: 20 — Date: March 2008 — Web Site: http://www.my-blood-pressure.com

Welcome to the latest My Blood Pressure newsletter!

This edition we have a story that many of you will relate to! We have a fascinating account from Peter of how he discovered he had high blood pressure. Thank you, Peter, for sharing your story.

I have reviewed a clinical study which looks at whether home monitoring of blood pressure can reduce the amount of medication you take. (Spoiler: the answer is “Yes”!)

Both myself and Steve had some time off over the new year’s break and are now back at work looking forward to the new year. Enjoy the latest blood pressure news and stories!

Kellie and Steve

Blood Pressure News Roundup

This section contains a selection of news stories relating to blood pressure. Clicking on the links will take you to a page on our website which contains a summary of the story, and links to other sources.

A surprising study of hotel maids has shown the influence the mind can have over blood pressure and weight levels. A new study has shown that medicines in the future may be personally tailored to a person’s genetic make-up.

The latest blood pressure diet information supports a low carb diet, drinking beetroot juice, and … avoid noises at night!

Enjoy the latest blood pressure news!

Kellie

Can the mind control blood pressure and weight levels?
People can control their own weight and blood pressure by the use of their mind, according to an interesting study.
For more details and links please see:
http://www.my-blood-pressure.com/mind-control.html

Noises at night increase blood pressure levels – even if you are asleep.
Noises at night, such as snoring or aircraft noise elevate blood pressure levels.
For more details and links please see:
http://www.my-blood-pressure.com/night-noise.html

Change the amount of carbohydrates in the diet to avoid diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association have made changes to diet recommendations for those at risk and living with Type 2 diabetes.
For more details and links please see:
http://www.my-blood-pressure.com/diabetes-recommendations.html

Genetics influence the effectiveness of the medication you take.
Blood pressure medication effectiveness changes with a person’s genetic make-up.
For more details and links please see:
http://www.my-blood-pressure.com/genetics-medication.html

Drinking beetroot juice can help reduce blood pressure.
A drink of beetroot juice each day can help reduce high blood pressure.
For more details and links please see:
http://www.my-blood-pressure.com/beetroot-juice.html

Contributed by: Kellie

My Story – Peter Dunning

This section contains stories and articles contributed by our users and subscribers. If you have something to contribute, we would love to hear from you. Email Kellie at kellie@my-blood-pressure.com with your idea or story!

In this issue, we publish a story by Peter Dunning. Thank you for writing to us Peter!

Just over 2 years ago at 64 I started having terrible headaches but put it down to anything but blood pressure. That was something other people got.

I don’t run to the Doctors over every little ache and pain but felt after a lapse of over a year I would make an appointment, I had plenty of time to sit and relax as he was running late. After the usual pleasantries he remarked how long it had been, I explained that I felt ok but had these bad headaches and wondered if they might be migraine, he smiled and said I’m the Doctor! Just roll up your sleeve and let me check your BP.

He looked very serious as the beeps faded, he put the sleeve on my other arm and his face looked very solemn! He told me to go and lie down on the bed whilst he checked his notes. He went over to his medicine cupboard and took out some boxes, he sat down and explained why the concern… Peter why did you not come to see me before, your reading was dangerously high 198/97…. that meant nothing to me even when he explained it again it really made no sense.

He said to start taking the tablets straight away and continue with them, he made another appointment for me the following week and each week until the tablets had gone. Each visit he showed me the readings, they had gone down and he was happy the tablets were working, at the end of the 4 weeks he changed the medication for another and we repeated the program.

Finally my readings were getting more stable, for my age he was happy around the 140/68 plus or minus, he gave me a list of things to do to change my lifestyle no sugar, butter, etc, he then made another change in my meds this time including a diuretic, he told me how much I had risked having a stroke or even a serious heart attack! and whilst it was a good thing not waste his time over nothing he would be the one to say it was nothing… (point taken).

I have taken his advice and last year after one check up he sent me for an abdominal ultra sound ( I thought were only for pregnant women ) he sat looking at the report and said they have found a triple A, I smiled and said does that mean I need a new battery! he gave me a look I remembered from my childhood from my father when I had said something I should not have said.

No it means you have a small bubble on your abdominal aorta, at the moment it is within the acceptable limit so now we need to check every 3 months! Just so we don’t have a repeat of your B P… o’k Leon I understand.

I’m one of the silver surfers and found your program by accident, your offer to try for 15 days was the incentive to try it so I downloaded it, I liked the simple set up and decided it would help me keep a true record so I bought it the same day, and well worth the money. After reading your story and those of others who have found it useful I can look back and relate.

I re located to live in Spain about 10 years ago, I love the culture and now only visit the UK to see my family, three daughters, eight grandchildren and this year I saw my first great granddaughter.

Regards
P Dunning (retired)

Clinical Study Review: Can home monitoring of blood pressure reduce the need for blood pressure medication?

Introduction

Can home monitoring of blood pressure reduce the amount of medication you take, and still achieve blood pressure control? This is an interesting question for anyone with high blood pressure who would like to take less medication and still have healthy blood pressure levels.

The results showed that home or self monitoring led to greater blood pressure control and a reduction in blood pressure medication and cost saving. Yet more reasons to monitor your own blood pressure!

Study Aim

The researchers had assumed that home or self monitoring measurements “are less liable to the white-coat effect and may provide a more reliable estimate of a patient’s ‘true’ BP.” They wanted to find out if this would reduce the need for blood pressure medication (and cost!) compared to those whose blood pressure was taken only in a doctor’s office. They also wanted to see the effect on blood pressure control.

Study Method

The researchers randomly assigned 430 people to receive treatment based on either Self Blood Pressure Measurements (SBPM) or Office Blood Pressure Measurements (OBPM). The researchers assessed medication use and associated costs of the 2 groups over a 1 year period. All patients had mild to moderate hypertension levels and were taking blood pressure lowering medication.

The OfficeBPM group had their blood pressure taken 10 times over the year. The reading was taken by a physician 3 times at each visit. The SelfBPM group self measured their blood pressure 8 times over the year. Self measurement readings were taken 6 times a day (3 in the morning and 3 at night) for 7 days prior to the 8 visits. The SelfBPM group used a fully automated Omron home monitoring device. Measurements for both groups were taken on the non dominant arm after sitting for 5 minutes.

The treatment costs took into account the drugs cost, pharmacy fee, doctors’ visits and the cost of the OMRON blood pressure monitoring device.

Study Results

The researchers found that SelfBPM’s resulted in patients taking less blood pressure medication without a loss in blood pressure control.

They found 10.7% of the SelfBPM group, were able to stop their medication permanently compared to 1.9% of the OfficeBPM group. In addition, 74% of the SelfBPM patients reached their target blood pressure compared to only 50% of the OfficeBPM group.

The SelfBPM patients also took less blood pressure medication. On average the SelfBPM group used 1 drug or one dose less compared to the OfficeBPM group.

Treatment costs were significantly less for the SelfBPM group. The cost saving between the 2 groups for one month’s treatment for 100 patients was $1198. On average, the cost for an individual in the OfficeBPM group of 1 month’s treatment was $44.20, compared to $32.22 for the SelfBPM group.

The researchers said, “Our study confirmed that a significant reduction in medication intensity and cost can be reached with self blood pressure measurements.

In addition they wrote, “Significantly more patients in the self measurement blood pressure group could permanently stop their antihypertensive medication, suggesting that self blood pressure measurement may be a valuable tool to prevent unnecessary drug prescription.

Source:

The study was published in the October 2007 edition of the American Journal of Hypertension. A team of researchers, headed by Willem Verbeck at the University Hospital Maastricht in The Netherlands, led the study.
Hypertension: Journal of The American Heart Association 15th October 2007;50:1019 Self-Measurement of Blood Pressure at Home Reduces the Need for Antihypertensive Drugs

Kellie

About us

This newsletter is put together by a brother and sister team.

Steven Alan is 38 and is the programmer of the My Blood Pressure software. Steve was diagnosed with high blood pressure in February 2004. Steve needs to monitor his blood pressure regularly, and will probably need to do so for the rest of his life. Steve’s systolic blood pressure was over 200 at one point, but recently he has got his blood pressure under control, and most readings are below 120/80.

Steve is responsible for contributing news about the software as well as tips and tricks for using the software.

Kellie Helen (Steve’s sister) is 36 and a full time mother to a 7 and 5 year old. In her spare time!, she has started working with Steve on the website and newsletter. Kellie grew up in a household which had its fair share of blood pressure problems! Their father has always had high blood pressure, but somehow Steve got all the high blood pressure genes, while in her teens, Kellie used to suffer from her blood pressure being too low. Kellie worked in the medical and surgical industry before becoming a full time mum, and is looking forward to spending more time on this project as her children get older.

Kellie is responsible for scouring the net for news stories of interest to people who monitor their blood pressure, and collecting and organizing stories contributed by subscribers.

My Health Software
PO Box 1468
Rozelle 2039
Australia
Kellie: kellie@my-blood-pressure.com
Steve: steve@my-blood-pressure.com

Disclaimer: Nothing contained in this newsletter is intended to be instructional for medical diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your health care provider.

Privacy Policy: We never sell or share subscribers email or other information with outside parties.

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