Hypertension and Stroke

Are you getting enough sleep… or too much? Sleep and stroke risk

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Could sleeping too much be bad for you? Possibly. A study found that people who slept more than nine hours a night and took long daytime naps, or who reported poor-quality sleep, were much more likely to have a stroke than those who slept eight hours or less a night.

Are polypills and population-based treatment the next big things?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Combining multiple medications into a single pill, or polypill, is one approach to improving adherence (taking medication as prescribed). Depending on the conditions being treated, it may be easier for people to take a single pill, but there are also downsides to this approach.

Can monitoring blood pressure at home cut maternal mortality?

Huma Farid, MD

Contributor

Preeclampsia is a dangerous condition marked by hypertension that affects some women during late pregnancy or early weeks after birth. Rising rates of high blood pressure and maternal age increase risk for it. A recent study finds monitoring blood pressure at home may help.

Could white-coat hypertension harm your heart?

People who have elevated blood pressure readings in a doctor’s office but normal readings elsewhere are said to have white-coat hypertension. A new study suggests that people with this condition face a greater risk of heart disease than those whose blood pressure is always normal.

Benefits of incorporating more aerobic activity into stroke rehabilitation

Stroke survivors are typically discharged with a program of exercises meant to help them regain independence. But researchers found that an aerobic training in a stroke rehabilitation program similar to that offered to some heart attack patients helped stroke patients improve their aerobic capacity.

In defense of the salt shaker

Most people know that too much salt is bad for them and they should try to cut back, but many don’t realize it’s also possible to consume too little salt. It’s not a common problem, but it does happen and it can be harmful.

Lifestyle changes to lower heart disease risk

Unhealthy lifestyle choices may be responsible for half of all premature deaths, but choosing healthier behaviors, such as working to lower cholesterol and blood pressure and getting more exercise, can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Plant-based diets are best… or are they?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Researchers analyzing stroke risk found that vegetarians were slightly more likely to have a hemorrhagic stroke, though less likely to have other types of heart disease compared to people who did not follow a plant-based diet.

10 foods that may impact your risk of dying from heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes

Researchers examining data from a national health survey and other sources found that consuming too much, or too little, of 10 foods was associated with 45% of deaths in 2012 due to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

Leg pain when you walk? Don’t ignore it

Leg pain when walking that eases with rest may be a sign of peripheral artery disease, which raises risk for other cardiovascular problems. Lifestyle changes — keep walking! — and treatment help.