News tips for Wednesday, November 10, 2004

November 10, 2004

To complement our news releases, here are additional news tips reported by the American Heart Association's Public and Media Relations from more than 3,600 abstracts. Note: Stories are embargoed until papers are presented or poster sessions begin. Times are indicated with each entry; however, all embargoes will lift by 4 p.m. CST each day. For more information Nov. 7 -10, call Carole Bullock, Bridgette McNeill, or Julie Del Barto (broadcast) at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans: (504) 670-6500. Before or after these dates, call Public and Media Relations in Dallas: (214) 706-1173 or 706-1396.

8:30 a.m. Abstract 3151 - "Masked" hypertension hides higher risk of organ damage. "Masked" hypertension - the opposite of white coat hypertension - is blood pressure that's actually lower in the doctor's office than the 24-hour average. A new study finds it's also riskier. Three hundred thirty-three patients taking anti-hypertensive drugs for at least a year were divided into four groups: controlled hypertension (low office, low 24-hour BP); white coat hypertension (high office, low 24-hour BP); masked hypertension (low office, high 24-hour BP), and sustained hypertension (high office, high 24-hour BP). Target-organ damage - left ventricular mass index, carotid wall thickness and urinary albumin - was most increased in those with masked hypertension. Researchers concluded that masked hypertension is a "significant predictor" of target organ damage, independent of other variables. Average day and night BP was higher in those with sustained hypertension, but short-term BP variations were higher in those with masked hypertension. This variability may account for the greater impact of masked hypertension, which poses "an independent risk for target organ damage."

9 a.m. Abstract 3078 - What causes heart patients to delay seeking medical help? People with heart attack symptoms often delay seeking treatment, putting them at risk of a more damaging, and possibly fatal outcome. One key determinant in the timeliness of getting help is whether the patient perceives his or her symptoms as serious. Researchers sought to identify factors that influence symptom appraisal in a study of 193 patients, 49 percent female. Patients were asked to rate the seriousness of their symptoms from 1 (not at all) to 5 (extremely). In a statistical analysis the scientists found that demographic and clinical variables - age, gender, income, education and even pain intensity - "failed to predict symptom appraisal." But emotion-cognitive variables - anxiety, knowledge of heart attack symptoms, recognition of heart attack symptoms and perceived control - accounted for "a significant proportion" of symptom appraisal variance. Thus, the study shows that emotional values have a major impact on how patients appraise the seriousness of their symptoms, and may help point the way to interventions that reduce treatment delays.

9:15 a.m. Abstract 3099 - Tall stature heightens risk of atrial fibrillation in some patients. The size of heart chambers increases proportionally with height. Researchers found a "strong, direct correlation" between height and atrial fibrillation (AF), a rapid rhythm in the heart's upper chambers, among patients with impaired left ventricular function (LVD). In a study of 16,730 patients, stature predicted AF independent of body mass index, age, gender, heart ejection fraction or severity of heart failure. Males and females were divided into separate quartiles of height and grouped according to: no AF history; paroxysmal (intermittent) AF, or permanent AF. Prevalence of AF increased with each height quartile, and those in the tallest quartile (over 5'11" for men, 5'5" for women) were 1.6 times more likely to have AF than those in the shortest (below 5'7" for men, 5'1" for women). Odds ratio for AF in the tallest quartile was 1.51. Results for the two forms of AF were similar. Tall stature is a "potent predictor" of AF in patients with LVD, and may contribute to higher prevalence of AF in men, researchers said.
Statements and conclusions of study authors that are published in the American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The American Heart Association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability.

American Heart Association

Related Hypertension Articles from Brightsurf:

Risk of target organ damage in patients with masked hypertension versus sustained hypertension
In a new publication from Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications; DOI, Yue Wu, Guoyue Zhang, Rong Hu and Jianlin Du from The Second Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China consider the risk of target organ damage in patients with masked hypertension versus sustained hypertension.

Overactive enzyme causes hereditary hypertension
After more than 40 years, several teams at the MDC and ECRC have now made a breakthrough discovery with the help of two animal models: they have proven that an altered gene encoding the enzyme PDE3A causes an inherited form of high blood pressure.

Diagnosing hypertension in children
Study results call into question the utility of testing blood pressure load--the proportion of elevated blood pressure readings detected over 24 hours--for diagnosing hypertension in children.

When the best treatment for hypertension is to wait
A new study concluded that a physician's decision not to intensify hypertension treatment is often a contextually appropriate choice.

Treatment of hypertension induced albuminuria
Patients with albuminuria will usually need more than one drug to achieve blood pressure control, particularly if the aim is also to reduce albuminuria.

Diagnosing and treating resistant hypertension
Resistant blood pressure affects 12 percent to 15 percent of people currently being treated for high blood pressure.

Dementia can be caused by hypertension
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Hormone imbalance causes treatment-resistant hypertension
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