Tags: heart | disease | pressure | blood | hypertension

Hidden Heart Disease, Blood Pressure Linked

Tuesday, 12 Jun 2012 01:16 PM


An overwhelming majority of African-Americans with high blood pressure also suffer hidden heart disease, even though they have no symptoms, new research suggests.
The Wayne State University School of Medicine study found nine out of every 10 patients researchers tested suffered hidden heart damage caused by high blood pressure. What’s more, none of them knew their high blood pressure was affecting their hearts and did not show any symptomatic signs of heart disease.
"These results present a tremendous opportunity to screen for heart disease before it becomes symptomatic, especially in a population with high rates of hypertension," said Dr. Phillip Levy, who led the study published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.
"If we can detect incipient heart disease early, we have a better shot at treating it before it turns into a full-blown health emergency. Our study is also a strong reminder that emergency patients with chronic disease – in this case, hypertension – are generally a high-risk group."
Levy and his colleagues based their findings on an analysis of patients seeking care in the emergency room of Detroit Receiving Hospital. Once enrolled in the study, they underwent echocardiograms, which revealed the hypertensive heart disease. Of the total 161 patients in the study, 93.8 percent were African-Americans, most of them in their 40s.
About 94 percent of the patients had high blood pressure and were aware of it, but only 68.3 percent were receiving treatment.
Levy noted high blood pressure affects more than 76 million adults and is more common in African-Americans. In 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated hypertension costs the U.S. $76.6 billion in health care, medication and missed days of work.



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African-Americans with high blood pressure also may have symptom-free heart disease.
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2012-16-12
Tuesday, 12 Jun 2012 01:16 PM
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