40% of the global adult population has high blood pressure: do you?

Cartoon icon of a hand holding pressure gauge that measures blood pressure

High blood pressure, called hypertension, has become increasingly common. According to the World Health Organisation, raised blood pressure is estimated to cause 7.5 million deaths, about 12.8% of the total of all deaths worldwide[1]. The WHO explains that around 40% of the global population above the age of 25 has raised blood pressure[2].

It’s a dangerous condition, even more so because it’s often symptomless. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the vessels as it flows throughout the body. If it’s consistently too high, it can damage them and the circulatory system as a whole. Called the “silent killer,” it leads to strokes, vision loss, heart attacks, heart failure or kidney disease if it’s not managed well. Understanding blood pressure readings The only way to know if you have high blood pressure it to get it checked. If your doctor does find elevated rates, it’s important to monitor your numbers. Many pharmacies Read more

The Amygdala: The connection between stress and heart disease

Artistic picture of a stethoscope and a foam heart

A recent study conducted by Harvard Medical School and published by UK medical journal The Lancet suggests that the effect of constant stress on a deep-lying region of the brain could potentially explain the link between the risk of heart attack and stress.[1]

Experts and scientific studies coincide that emotional stress can have a serious negative effect on the increase risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Stress affects the body in many ways, one of which being directly affecting the heart and blood vessels. Some experts even believe that emotional stress can be just as dangerous a risk factor as smoking and high blood pressure.[2] Medical professionals have had little understanding until now about the link between stress, the brain and heart disease. However, this recent study, conducted by Harvard Medical School, suggests that the effect stress has on the amygdala section of the brain Read more

Women suffering heart attacks more likely to be misdiagnosed

Woman in hospital coat holding a blue paper heart with question mark

We tend to think that people who suffer heart attacks are middle aged, overweight men, but it’s something that can happen to anyone. In many cases, the symptoms of a heart attack remain unrecognized and study shows that 30% of people were misdiagnosed, of which most were women.

Researchers from the University of Leeds studied 600,000 heart attack patients over nine years, revealing the abovementioned worrying number. It seems that the source of this problem is the lack of education and awareness among the public, but also among doctors. Women don’t recognize they are having a heart attack and go to their GP instead of A&E directly, resulting in a late diagnosis. Heart attack A heart attack occurs when the oxygen-rich blood flow to our heart muscle gets blocked or severely reduced, and strikes someone every 43 seconds. Symptoms can vary, but common signs are tightness, pain or a burning Read more