Hypertension and Stroke

Exercise matters to health and well-being, regardless of your size

Regardless of your size or fitness level, exercise has multiple benefits. Almost anything that gets you moving counts, and some activity is always better than none. These suggestions can help you make exercise work for you.

Will eating more chilis help you live longer?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

A new report suggests eating chili peppers regularly could lower the risk of dying of cancer or cardiovascular disease. One theory attributes such health benefits to capsaicin, an antioxidant that brings the heat. But just how strong are these findings?

Aggressive hypertension treatment does not lead to dangerous drops in blood pressure

There has been concern that treating high blood pressure too aggressively could result in blood pressure dropping too much, to a level that could be dangerous. An analysis of studies found that this did not occur, and in fact intensive hypertension treatment actually reduced the risk of such a drop in blood pressure.

Hypertension, health inequities, and implications for COVID-19

Kemar Brown, MD

Contributor

In the US, racial and ethnic minority groups are more likely to have hypertension, thus putting them at higher risk for a COVID-19 infection. Controlling blood pressure helps reduce risk, but the underlying health inequities that make these groups more vulnerable also need to be addressed.

Birth control and high blood pressure: Which methods are safe for you?

Huma Farid, MD

Contributor

Doctors typically recommend that women who have high blood pressure avoid using birth control that contains estrogen to avoid raising risks for a stroke or heart attack. According to a clinical update, this recommendation may be changing for some women with high blood pressure.

How to recognize a ministroke or stroke — and what to do

A transient ischemic attack (TIA), or ministroke, is caused by a temporary lack of blood in part of the brain, usually from a clot. The fleeting symptoms of a TIA can be a warning of risk for an imminent, more serious stroke. In the event of a stroke, getting help immediately is crucial, and knowing the signs will make that more likely.

Discrimination, high blood pressure, and health disparities in African Americans

It is well established that African Americans have a higher risk of hypertension compared with other racial or ethnic groups in the United States. Researchers hypothesized that systemic, sustained discrimination could be a cause of this, and examined the effects of stress, discrimination, and injustice on health outcomes over the course of a person’s life.

Is it safe to reduce blood pressure medications for older adults?

Many older people take multiple medications, and managing them can be a burden. It’s common for people with high blood pressure to be prescribed several medications, so a recent study examined the effects of reducing the number of blood pressure medications in a small group of test subjects.

Worried about sleep apnea? Home-based testing is now the norm

Sleep apnea robs people of high-quality sleep, increases the risk of heart problems, and puts people at higher risk of accidents. While an overnight stay in a sleep lab used to be required to diagnose sleep apnea, now this testing often can be done at home.

Metabolic syndrome is on the rise: What it is and why it matters

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Because metabolic syndrome boosts the risk of developing several serious health problems, a troubling rise in rates of occurrence of metabolic syndrome among certain segments of the US population is of great concern.