Healthwrap Prehypertension

Posted by Admin on February 23, 2007
A study of 60,000 postmenopausal women found that pre-hypertension, a slightly elevated blood pressure above normal is associated with nearly a 60 percent higher risk of cardiovascular death than normal blood pressure.

Normal blood pressure is defined as anything below 120/80. Prehypertension is an upper number between 120 and 139, and a lower number of between 80 and 89. The research found forty percent of women have pre-ypertension. The increased risk with this blood pressure resulted in overall, a 76 percent higher risk of non fatal heart attack and nearly a double risk of stroke.

The authors say this study shows blood pressure should be reduced, even at pre-ypertension levels. Lifestyle changes should be tried first, such as diet and exercise, and then medications prescribed if necessary. New research suggests beating heart bypass surgery may not trump traditional bypass surgery for low-risk patients.

In traditional bypass surgery, doctors stop the patients' heart during bypass surgery and hook the patient up to a heart-lung bypass machine during the operation. But during "beating heart" bypass, also called "off-pump" bypass, doctors operate on the patient's beating heart, without using a heart-lung machine. It has been believed that using the pump increases the risk of postoperative mental function problems…in memory, calculation, and so on.

 It was thought that beating heart bypass reduced this problem. But the study in the latest Journal of the American Medical Association says there’s essentially no difference between the two operations. Half of the patients in both groups showed a 20% decline in their mental skills test scores. In sum, avoiding the use of cardiopulmonary bypass had no effect on cognitive or cardiac outcome 5 years after the procedure.

A report of the American Psychological Association released this week found evidence that the proliferation of sexualized images of girls and young women in the media and murchandising is harmful to girls' self-image and healthy development. The APA says there is ample evidence to conclude that sexualization has negative effects in cognitive functioning, physical and mental health, and healthy sexual development.

Research shows it undermines a person's confidence in and comfort with her own body, leading to emotional and self-image problems, such as shame and anxiety. It also affects a girls ability to develop a healthy sexual self-image. The APA report calls on parents, school officials, and all health professionals to be alert for the potential impact of sexualization on girls and young women. Schools, The APA says media literacy skills should be taught to all students and should include information on the negative effects of the sexualization of girls in media literacy and sex education programs.

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