Mudcat Café message #3207800 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #64925   Message #3207800
Posted By: JohnInKansas
14-Aug-11 - 09:07 AM
Thread Name: BS: high blood pressure
Subject: RE: BS: high blood pressure
Rumncoke said "I am a little dumpy grandma, but ..."

Little dumpy grandmas are sort of special.(?)

Within the past year or so there has been some increase in attention paid to differences in female vs male characteristics and responses to cardovascular health. The tendency has been to assume that the experience with treating males is typical for all, but recent opinons based on limited studies have lots of practitioners "a bit confused." (The tendency to lump everybody together could be because men "whine more about their heart conditions" so they've gotten more attention?)

It is fairly typical for females, at any age, to be less susceptible to "high blood pressure" than for males, when the "male standards" for "high" are applied to both. The numbers are lower for "typical" women than for "typical men," but there's been little attention given to whether what's considered "satisfactory" in women should be different than the "satisfactory" in men.

There is a significant amount of evidence that says that women don't show the same symptoms as men when a "cardiac event" (heart attack) occurs. This is cited as the reason why fewer (percentage-wise) women survive a first attack. Doctors simply don't recognize what's happening because they've been trained to expect the "typical male symptoms" and "women are different."

There is an apparently growing "opinion" that cardiovascular damage can typically occur at lower bp elevations in women than in men. There's a lot of debate about whether testing/data support the opinions, but there probably is a real shift in opinions.

It appears that elevated bp in women may be slightly more likely to result in a "stroke" than in men, while in men it's most often the heart.

Others here have discussed the hazards and benefits of alcohol. There really has been little change in the prevailing opinions here, but there have been shifts in what kind of emphasis should be given to the various aspects of the subject by the medical profession. Some common alcoholic beverages, particularly red wines, are credited with containing "antioxidents" (a.k.a whatever your advisor wants to claim is in 'em) that can be helpful.

The alcohol by itself, in any drink, can have an apparently benficial effect on bp in moderation, but can be damaging in excess.

An effect with more than minimal consumption that is well documented is an increase in the triglycerides in the blood. There is lots of discussion about increasing the HDL (high density lipoproteins) and lowering the LDL (low density lipoproteins) as being beneficial to cardovascular health, but any elevation in triglycerides can be damaging. Some opinon is that this effect gets less attention than deserved because there are few "treatments" effective for specifically/separately controlling it. (If you ain't got a pill for it, don't worry about it(?).)

While it's best to start being healthy at an early age, at a certain point nearly all of us reach the point where we really need a carefully and regularly managed program for maintaining what we've got left. As for deciding what's the "best" thing to do, about all that we can do is to work with the best advice we can get now and promise to watch the news for new developments while we hang on.

It ain't easy getting old(er); but it ain't all bad either.

John