I’ve been visiting doctors lately, and my blood pressure has been recorded many times. Some days it is 140/80; other days, it is 200/110. Why could that be? And what does it tell us about healthcare and BIG DATA?
I wrote the other day about a study from China on the effect of dietary salt on blood pressure. The study was unique in that it distinguished four regional Chinese cuisines. This got me thinking about whether salt use varies among American cuisines and regions. The standard narrative is that the salt in our heavily processed foods is a significant factor in the nearly 50% prevalence of high blood pressure—but then I ran across this study.
The Chinese use quite a bit more salt in their diet than in Western diets, so a new study looking at reducing the incidence of hypertension by dietary reductions in salt in China should be thought-provoking. It is.
One change that COVID-19 has wrought is moving patient care from the office back into the home. While there are definitely growing pains for patients and physicians, there are some real gains as reported in Circulation last week.
There's nothing quite like the moment when your doctor says: "you have heart disease" (or diabetes). Sinners then repent with thoughts such as: "From this point on only healthy nutritious foods, daily exercise, and perhaps a bit of mindfulness." But do the sinners really repent or is that just something they tell themselves until the shock wears off, allowing their old ways to return?
It is becoming increasingly apparent that men and women have significant differences in their physiology, and subsequent manifestation of disease phenotypes. At the same time, scientists increasingly view physiology as it changes, rather than as static points in time. Those trends come together in a new paper in JAMA Cardiology, which looks at the most ubiquitous of cardiovascular diseases: high blood pressure.
Here's today's lineup: Why are there smell receptors in the kidney? ... Men and women see the world differently ... Spotify shows us how big data can inform and delight us ... and robots come for the village blacksmith.
The byproducts of dry-cured ham may be a source of anti-hypertensive bioactive peptides, which could help improve cardiovascular health.
The siren song of precision medicine is lost in the translation, from the laboratory to the bedside. Two studies suggest that precision medicine is more an aspirational term than reality.
The diagnostic criteria for high blood pressure are evolving. Should patients who are fine in the office, but hypertensive all the rest of the day, be considered as having high blood pressure? Should they be treated? Let's take a closer look.
High blood pressure is not a static event, it's dynamic, the result of multiple causes changing at different rates. Treating high blood pressure, or any disease, as a static process makes our models more inaccurate.
We cannot digest fiber, but some researchers believe fiber helps lower our blood pressure while maintaining cardiovascular health. It turns out that the fiber is being digested by the bacteria of our gut – and that process may play a role in controlling blood pressure.