Diabetes Self-Management Blog

According to a report published in the February 12 issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, rates of uncontrolled high blood pressure are on the rise in American women. Women now have higher rates of uncontrolled high blood pressure than men do in every state, and rates in men are still higher than they should be.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke—conditions for which diabetes also greatly increases risk. Hypertension is a component of the metabolic syndrome (also known as syndrome X), a cluster of interrelated conditions that raises Type 2 diabetes and heart disease risk. And controlling blood pressure levels is an important part of diabetes self-management, since having high blood pressure increases a person’s risk of nephropathy, or diabetic kidney disease.

The authors of the report in Circulation examined data from two large, ongoing studies: the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. They found that uncontrolled high blood pressure—defined as the systolic (or “top”) number above 140 mm Hg—had been declining steadily for decades into the 1990’s, and continued to decline in American men, dropping from 19% to 17% between the early 1990’s and the early 2000’s. However, over that same time period, uncontrolled hypertension in American women increased from 17% to 22%.

High blood pressure rates varied by state, with the southern states of Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, Georgia, and South Carolina, as well as the District of Columbia, having the worst rates. In these places, about 18% to 21% of men and about 24% to 26% of women had uncontrolled high blood pressure. In contrast, the lowest rates of high blood pressure were found in Vermont, Minnesota, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Iowa, and Colorado. In these states, 15% to 16% of men and about 21% of women had uncontrolled high blood pressure.

Dan Jones, M.D., the president of the American Heart Association, commented that high blood pressure is “the most commonly occurring preventable risk factor for heart disease and stroke” and that “Easily applied methods for prevention and treatment are available.” But, he suggested, because the condition has few symptoms, it may not receive as much attention from people who have it and their doctors as it should. Indeed, high blood pressure is often referred to as “the silent killer.”

What steps should you take to keep your blood pressure under control?

  • Get screened for high blood pressure. Your blood pressure can be measured easily at every doctor’s visit.
  • If your results are high, talk to your health-care provider about what steps to take to bring your blood pressure into the normal range.
  • If you are prescribed medicine for your blood pressure, take it as directed. Use a pillbox, alarm, or other method to remind yourself to take it regularly if you tend to forget. If you have side effects, tell your doctor, but don’t stop taking the medicine unless your doctor tells you to.
  • Lower your salt intake. The vast majority of sodium in most people’s diets comes from processed, packaged, and restaurant foods, so read Nutrition Facts labels carefully, check sodium levels for items from fast-food and chain restaurants online or at the restaurant whenever possible, and request that no salt be added to your dishes at restaurants.
  • Get active—increasing your exercise can decrease your blood pressure.

For more ideas on ways you can lower high blood pressure, check out the blog entry “New Research Focuses on Blood Pressure Control (Part 2).”

POST A COMMENT       
  

Comments
  1. There are no comments at this time.


Post a Comment

Note: All comments are moderated and there may be a delay in the publication of your comment. Please be on-topic and appropriate. Do not disclose personal information. Be respectful of other posters. Only post information that is correct and true to your knowledge. When referencing information that is not based on personal experience, please provide links to your sources. All commenters are considered to be nonmedical professionals unless explicitly stated otherwise. Promotion of your own or someone else's business or competing site is not allowed: Sharing links to sites that are relevant to the topic at hand is permitted, but advertising is not. Once submitted, comments cannot be modified or deleted by their authors. Comments that don't follow the guidelines above may be deleted without warning. Such actions are at the sole discretion of DiabetesSelfManagement.com. Comments are moderated Monday through Friday by the editors of DiabetesSelfManagement.com. The moderators are employees of Madavor Media, LLC., and do not report any conflicts of interest. A privacy policy setting forth our policies regarding the collection, use, and disclosure of certain information relating to you and your use of this Web site can be found here. For more information, please read our Terms and Conditions.


General Diabetes & Health Issues
How Much Do You Know About Diabetes? Six Facts to Get You Thinking (08/25/14)
Doing Your Own Research (08/06/14)
Ensuring a Successful Hospital Stay (08/15/14)
Summer of Health! (06/19/14)

Diabetes News
Antibiotics Linked to Lows in People Taking Certain Diabetes Drugs (09/11/14)
Low-Carb Diet Benefits Type 2 Diabetes, Heart Health, Studies Show (09/03/14)
Pistachios Offer Protection for People With Diabetes (08/29/14)
New Approach for Neuropathy Pain? (08/18/14)

 

 

Disclaimer of Medical Advice: You understand that the blog posts and comments to such blog posts (whether posted by us, our agents or bloggers, or by users) do not constitute medical advice or recommendation of any kind, and you should not rely on any information contained in such posts or comments to replace consultations with your qualified health care professionals to meet your individual needs. The opinions and other information contained in the blog posts and comments do not reflect the opinions or positions of the Site Proprietor.