Posts Tagged ‘hypertension’

Much-needed complement to cholesterol testing

June 25, 2010

For patients outside the highest and lowest traditional risk factor categories, based on factors like high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, hypertension and family history of heart disease, MRP-8/14 could become a prominent diagnostic tool. “We are attempting to determine whether the use of MRP-8/14 should sway us toward more aggressive preventive therapies,” says Carl Orringer, MD, the HarringtonMcLaughlin Chair in Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine at the School of Medicine.

Currently, a “high-sensitivity C-reactive protein” (hs-CRP) assay is sometimes used in conjunction with cholesterol tests to assess heart disease risk. Like hs-CRP, MRP-8/14 represents a different biological process than cholesterol and is likely to serve as a complement to, not a substitute for, cholesterol screening. Of cholesterol testing’s shortcomings, Dr. Orringer says, “Relying on cholesterol alone is ignoring the inflammation that lights the fuse that sets off the explosion that is the heart ttack.”

Dr. Orringer, who developed an innovative heart attack risk assessment program that uses CT scans to see whether a person has hardening of the arteries, believes that MRP-8/14 may come to be incorporated to aid in risk estimation.

“A person’s heart attack risk is related to how much calcium is in the arteries—the more calcium, the greater the risk,” Dr. Orringer explains. “Those with calcium in their arteries indicating atherosclerosis might be really good candidates for MRP-8/14 evaluation to see who is at the highest risk.”

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.

CWRUmedicine To Lead Hypertension Study

February 26, 2010

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine is getting nearly 15 million dollars from the National Institutes of health to lead an important new study of hypertension.

Current guidelines recommend lowering hypertensive patients’ systolic blood pressure – that’s the first number in a blood pressure reading – to below 140 – 138 over 90, for example.  But physicians want to know if lowering that recommended systolic blood pressure to below 120 can further reduce the incidence of cardiovascular and kidney disease, or slow the decline of functional cognition.

Dr. Jackson Wright, who heads the Clinical Hypertension Program at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, says the medical school will be one of five U.S. institutions taking a leadership role in what’s called the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial – dubbed SPRINT.

Wright:  “The fact that Cleveland, Northeast Ohio and Central Ohio has a very diverse population makes this an outstanding location to conduct a study such as SPRINT.”

The study will take place over 9 years, and will involve 75 hundred patients.

Wright says it will measure the benefits of reducing systolic blood pressure against risks posed by increased medication and other factors in treatment of hypertension.

Learn more at CWRUmedicine.org

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