Monthly Archives: February 2013

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Blood pressure differences, predict death risk?

2016-01-26T16:44:27+00:00 February 1st, 2013|Blood Pressure|

A large difference between the blood pressure in each arm suggests a bigger risk of dying early, researchers claim. A study of 230 high blood pressure patients found those with big differences in systolic pressure were more likely to die from heart attack, stroke or other causes. More heart health checks may be needed in those with different readings, says the British Heart Foundation. Not all medics follow national guidance to measure blood pressure in both arms. Dr Christopher Clark from the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Exeter, who led the study, published in the British Medical Journal, said the message to doctors was simple. "Sorry guys, but you really need to follow the guidelines by measuring both arms when you're assessing blood pressure," he told the BBC. He said patients with high blood pressure who routinely checked their blood pressure at home should also follow the advice. "If they are being treated on the basis of their blood pressure, it's important to know if there's a difference between arms so they know their treatment is based on the correct measurements in the future." A previous analysis of 28 study papers in The Lancet also found that a large difference in readings could mean an increased risk of vascular disease and death. Maureen Talbot, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: "This study supports national guidelines, which recommend that blood pressure readings are taken in both arms. It is normal to have a small difference in your blood pressure readings between arms. "However, a big difference between your readings may carry risks, so more tests could be needed to check your heart health. If you want to find out your blood pressure, visit your GP or practice nurse to have it measured." People [...]

Whooping cough cases have fallen

2016-01-26T16:44:27+00:00 February 1st, 2013|Coughs, Heart|

The largest outbreak of whooping cough for 20 years shows signs of slowing as cases fall for two months in a row, Health Protection Agency figures for England and Wales show. There were 832 new cases in December, nearly half the figure from October. One baby died in December, bringing the total number of deaths in newborns during the outbreak to 14. Experts warn the outbreak may not be over as there is a seasonal dip in cases. The current outbreak has been significantly worse than in previous years, affecting 9,741 in England and Wales in 2012. There are surges every three to four years. However last year there were 10 times the number of cases than in the last outbreak in 2008. A similar pattern has been seen in Scotland and Northern Ireland. 'Welcome decrease' Dr. Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at the HPA, said: "The December figures show another welcome decrease in the overall number of whooping cough cases since the peak in October. "However, it is very important to note that we usually see a reduction in cases of whooping cough at this time of year so this decrease is in line with normal seasonal patterns." Source: BBC