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BMI linked to blood pressure

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WASHINGTON — Body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure are positively associated, according to a new study being conducted by researchers at the Yale Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CORE) in China.

In the ongoing study of 1.7 million Chinese men and women, individuals who were not taking an antihypertensive medication, were observed with an increase of 0.8 to 1.7 mm Hg (kg/m2) in blood pressure per additional unit of BMI.

First author and doctoral candidate at Yale, George Linderman said, “The enormous size of the dataset — the result of an unprecedented effort in China — allows us to characterize this relationship between BMI and blood pressure across tens of thousands of subgroups, which simply would not be possible in a smaller study.”

Researchers recorded the participants’ blood pressure from September 2014 through June 2017 as part of the larger China Patient-Centered Evaluative Assessment of Cardiac Events (PEACE) Million Persons Project, which captures at least 22,000 subgroups of people based on age (35-80), sex, race/ethnicity, geography, occupation, and other pertinent characteristics — such as whether or not they are on antihypertensive medication.

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Senior author on the study Harlan Krumholz said, “If trends in overweight and obesity continue in China, the implication of our study is that hypertension, already a major risk factor, is likely to become even more important. This paper is ringing the bell that the time is now to focus on these risk factors.”

According to the researchers, one way for the Chinese healthcare system to address these risk factors would be the management of high blood pressure with antihypertensive drugs.

The full findings are present in the journal-JAMA Network Open.

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Diabetes drug might ease heart failure risk

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A new research has showed that the diabetes drug Farxiga might do double-duty for patients, helping to ward off another killer, heart failure.

According to the findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with their presentation at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association in Chicago, Type 2 diabetics who took Farxiga saw their odds of hospitalization for heart failure drop by 27 percent compared to those who took a placebo.

Farxiga is a type of drug called a SGLT2 inhibitor. The compound is called dapagliflozin.

The study included more than 17,000 type 2 diabetes patients aged 40 and older. Nearly 7,000 had heart disease and more than 10,000 had numerous risk factors for heart disease, Wiviott’s group said.

Patients were randomly assigned to take a dummy placebo pill or 10 milligrams of Farxiga each day.

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“When it comes to helping our patients control and manage blood glucose, the ‘how’ appears to be as important [as] the ‘how much,” said study author Dr Stephen Wiviott, a cardiovascular medicine specialist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

“When choosing a therapy, trial results like these can help us make an informed decision about what treatments are not only safe and effective for lowering blood glucose but can also reduce risk of heart and kidney complications,” Wiviott said in a hospital news release.

Taking the drug did not reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular-related death, the research team noted. However, patients who took the drug did see healthy declines in their blood sugar levels, plus an added bonus: a 27 percent decrease in their risk of hospitalization for heart failure.

Their risk of kidney failure and death from kidney failure also fell, researchers noted.

Two other recent studies of this class of drugs show that they “robustly and consistently improve heart and kidney outcomes in a broad population of patients with diabetes,” Wiviott noted.

With Inputs from HealthDay

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