iLoveBenefits: Industry News Blog

90% of Strokes are Preventable

The Lancet recently published a study on the modifiable risk factors behind strokes. Here are some key findings from the report:

  • 10 controllable risk factors account for 90% of all strokes.
  • Eliminating high blood pressure was estimated to reduce risk by 48%.
  • High blood pressure causes 39% of strokes in North America, Australia and western Europe.
  • 60% of strokes in Southeast Asia are caused by high blood pressure.
  • Eliminating physical inactivity was estimated to reduce stroke risk by 36%.
  • Stroke risk is reduced by an estimated 23% when a poor diet is improved.

Source: The Lancet, July 15, 2016

Mortality from Hypertension has risen 23%

cnCDC: Hypertension mortality climbing
A CDC report found that overall mortality from hypertension has risen 23% since 2000. Meanwhile, mortality from all other causes is down 21%. Deaths linked to hypertension among 45- to 64-year-old men increased by about 58% and nearly 37% for women in the same age group from 2000 to 2013. Ethnic and racial disparities persist but are smaller. “There is a critical need to facilitate and incentivize improvement in blood pressure control and heart health, as well provide optimal patient care,” Dr. Gregg Fonarow said. HealthDay News

Worried about not sleeping . . . rest a bit easier

Study examines correlation between sleep hours, stroke risk A study in Neurology found that sleeping longer than eight hours a night was associated with a 46% increased risk of stroke. The study included 9,700 people. An 18% increased risk was seen among people who slept less than six hours, but the sample of people sleeping less than six hours was small enough that the association wasn’t considered significant. HealthDay News (2/25)

Better understanding of BP measures in frail elderly people

Study warns of risks when frail older patients take multiple BP meds Frail elderly nursing home residents with low systolic blood pressure taking two or more antihypertensive medications were at a twofold higher risk of dying within two years compared with peers, according to a study in JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers also found a higher portion of those deaths were from cardiovascular causes — 14.5% of patients on multiple antihypertension medications, compared with 9.4% of others taking fewer than two blood pressure-lowering drugs. Medscape (free registration) (2/19)

Reducing the risk of undiagnosed hypertension

Surveillance system uses EHRs to detect patients at risk of hypertensionA surveillance system that reviews EHRs was designed by a team of researchers from Northwestern Medicine to tell health care providers when patients are at risk of hypertension. Researchers conducted a study to test the system and found that the platform could reduce the risk of undiagnosed hypertension by 72%. (Boston) (7/17)

Changing the paradigm and reach of the traditional office practice

Nurse-led protocol tied to better chronic disease managementAn analysis found nurse-led outpatient disease management protocols were associated with significant improvements in HbA1C, systolic blood pressure and lipid levels in patients with diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia. The nurses followed a protocol for medication titration, according to the study reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Renal and Urology News (7/18)

Doctors agree that PAs, NPs improve care, productivityA Jackson Healthcare survey revealed about 75% of doctors who employed advance-practice professionals such as physician assistants and nurse practitioners said doing so helped improve patient care and practice efficiency, while two-thirds reported that PAs and NPs are handling tasks that formerly were handled by doctors. Sixty percent of respondents perceived the increasing role of PAs and NPs positively, researchers said. (7/17)

Decline in stroke rates

U.S. sees decline in stroke rate in past two decadesThe overall first-time stroke rate among Americans dropped 24% from 1987 to 2011, with a greater drop seen among people aged 65 and older, according to an analysis in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers found a 20% overall decline in stroke-related deaths per decade. HealthDay News (7/15), (7/15)

What is the salt content of your food

The FDA is ready to make a move on regulating the sodium content of foods, the agency’s commissioner Margaret Hamburg, MD, announced.

The implications of middle age high blood pressure on memory

MINNEAPOLIS – New research suggests that high blood pressure in middle age plays a critical role in whether blood pressure in old age may affect memory and thinking. The study is published in the June 4, 2014, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.“Our findings bring new insight into the relationship between a history of high blood pressure, blood pressure in old age, the effects of blood pressure on brain structure, and memory and thinking,” said study author Lenore J. Launer, PhD, of the National Institute on Aging in Bethesda, Md., and a member of the American Academy of Neurology.

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Controlling BP is important for stroke victims

Controlling BP level may prevent recurring stroke, study finds
An analysis of data on almost 3,700 ischemic stroke patients found that those who were able to keep their blood pressure low more than 75% of the time were 54% less likely to suffer a second stroke compared with those who kept their BP low less than 25% of the time. Patients who failed to maintain a consistently low BP also had a twofold higher risk of suffering a heart attack or dying from vascular causes. The findings appear in the journal Stroke. HealthDay News (3/27)

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