Posts Tagged ‘blood pressure’

Impotence plus heart disease ups death risk – Dr. Sahil Parikh discusses the study

May 27, 2010

Reuters Report ::

Men with heart disease who also have erectile dysfunction die sooner than men who do not seek treatment for impotence, researchers reported on Monday.

They found that men who had both conditions were twice as likely to die from any cause and twice as likely to have a heart attack than men with heart disease alone.

The researchers expressed concern that using drugs such as Pfizer’s Viagra or Eli Lilly’s Cialis to treat erectile dysfunction could mask the symptoms that point to widespread heart and artery disease and said men complaining of impotence should be checked by a cardiologist.

“Erectile dysfunction is something that regularly should be addressed in the medical history of patients; it might be a symptom of early atherosclerosis,” Dr. Michael Bohm of the University of Saarland in Germany, who led the study, said in a statement.

His team studied 1,519 men in 13 countries taking part in some larger studies of various heart disease treatments. As part of the study the men were also asked about erectile dysfunction.

More than half of them, 55 percent, did, Bohm’s team said in a report published in the journal Circulation and also presented at a meeting of the American College of Cardiology.

During the two years of the study, 11.3 percent of the patients who reported erectile dysfunction died, compared to 5.6 percent of those with mild or no impotence problems.

“It has long been known that erectile dysfunction is a marker for cardiovascular disease,” said Dr. Sahil Parikh at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio, who was not involved in the study.

The first impotence drug, Pfizer’s Viagra, known generically as sildenafil, was at first developed to lower blood pressure, he said.

“They realized it had this other effect, which patients quite enjoyed,” Parikh said in a telephone interview.

HAPPY SIDE-EFFECT

Viagra and rival drugs such as Eli Lilly’s Cialis and Bayer AG’s BAYG.DE Levitra all work by increasing blood flow.

“In order to have proper erectile function, you have to have adequate blood flow to the genitals. If you have atherosclerosis, whether in the arteries on the neck, which can cause stroke, or the arteries of the heart, which can cause heart attack … it is the same disease.”

But while the erectile dysfunction drugs help blood flow all over the body, they do not treat the underlying hardening and narrowing in the arteries that is causing the problem.

“If patients have erectile dysfunction, we have to be very aggressive about screening and treating them for heart disease,” Parikh said.

When Viagra came onto the market, many health experts welcomed it as a way to get men who might otherwise neglect their health to go to a doctor. But Bohm and Parikh both agreed that patients — and their doctors — need to look hard at the hearts of men with erectile dysfunction.

“Men with ED going to a general practitioner or a urologist need to be referred for a cardiology workup to determine existing cardiovascular disease and proper treatment,” Bohm said.

“The medication works and the patient doesn’t show up any more,” he added. “These men are being treated for the ED, but not the underlying cardiovascular disease.”

The drugs are wildly popular. Viagra alone had sales of nearly $2 billion in 2009.

Donald Hricik discusses new hypertension study published in the Journal of American Medical Association

May 27, 2010

Half of Americans are in control of their blood pressure. But the number of new cases has gone up according to a new study out published in the Journal of American Medical Association which finds that one out of every three people had their hypertension under control 20 years ago compared to 50% of patients now. However, the number of people diagnosed with the condition has continued to go up.

Dr. Donald Hricik of CWRUmedicine Division of Nephrology and Hypertension at University Hospitals Case Medical Center is interviewed for the story. Watch the video.

No Need for High Blood Pressure Meds?

March 24, 2010

A novel treatment for drug-resistant hypertension

About 72 million adults in the United States suffer from hypertension, defined as having a systolic blood pressure of 140 mm Hg or higher or a diastolic blood pressure of 90 mm Hg or higher. Of these, about 4 million adults (approximately 6 percent) suffer from drug-resistant hypertension. This is a form of the disease that does not respond to normal treatments such as reducing salt intake or using various combinations of medications. John Blebea discusses new treatment options for patients.

Electrical stimulation of “stretch receptors” surrounding the carotid arteries in the neck may prove to be the next treatment for drugresistant hypertension. Clinical researchers from the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine are part of an international research group examining the efficacy of this novel treatment. John Blebea, MD, Chief, Division of Vascular Surgery and Endovascular Therapy, University Hospitals Case Medical Center; Director, Vascular Center, UH Harrington- McLaughlin Heart & Vascular Institute; and Professor of Surgery, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, reports that this technique could enable patients to reduce or entirely discontinue use of their blood pressure medications.

Shocking treatment
Performed under general anesthesia, the procedure involves surgical placement of electrodes around both carotid arteries in the neck. The electrode wires are tunneled beneath the skin to an area under the collarbone where a battery and control unit are placed. “The device is very similar to a [heart] pacemaker and, indeed, has been termed a pacemaker for high blood pressure,” says Dr. Blebea. Electrical stimulation of the stretch receptors that surround the carotid arteries, known as baroreceptors, sends an electrical signal to the brain, causing it to use its natural pathways and mechanisms to relax blood vessels and lower blood pressure – the baroreflex. “The result is seen immediately after the device is turned on,”says Dr. Blebea.

Learn more at CWRUmedicine.org

Dr. John Blebea discusses an alternative to blood pressure medications

March 1, 2010

Some 7 million U.S. residents suffer from high blood pressure that can require multiple medications to control. But CWRUmedicine’s Dr. John Blebea has found that stimulating sensors in the neck’s carotid arteries with an implanted device can trigger the brain to expand the artery walls and lower blood pressure. Blebea likens it to a pacemaker for hypertension. “We’ve seen very dramatic drops in blood pressure in people that have, for many years, had resistant blood pressure that could not be reduced with any number of drugs,” says Blebea, chief of the division of vascular surgery and endovascular therapy and the director of the vascular center at University Hospitals.

Read more at Cleveland Magazine