Can exercise lower blood pressure as effectively as drugs?

Millions of people live with high blood pressure, which can place them at risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. For this condition, doctors typically prescribe blood-lowering drugs, but could exercise help just as well?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 75 millionadults in the United States have to manage high blood pressure, where it exceeds the threshold of 140 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).

The condition can increase their risk of developing heart disease or experiencing a stroke, both of which are leading causes of death in the U.S.

Full story at Medical News Today

High blood pressure control with ‘exercise in a pill’

A discovery about a function in the liver could lead to a new way to control blood pressure — a pill that mimics the effect of exercise — according to a recent study that features in the journal Cell Reports.

The idea is that the tablet would raise body levels of a compound that helps to control blood pressure without having to do more exercise or eat less salt, say scientists from the University of Toledo in Ohio.

High sodium consumption — a significant risk factor for high blood pressure — depletes the body’s supply of the compound, which is a ketone called beta-hydroxybutyrate. The liver produces it when it metabolizes fatty acids.

Full story at Medical News Today

For Millions of Americans, ‘Heart Age’ Outpaces Actual Age

Forget about staying young at heart. For most Americans, simply having a cardiovascular system that isn’t lapping them in the race to old age is a challenge, according to a new report that says 69 million US adults have a “heart age” that is, on average, 7 years older than their chronological age.

The findings were released in a “Vital Signs” report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To arrive at a heart age, CDC calculated the age of a person’s cardiovascular system based on risk factors that include high blood pressure, cigarette smoking, diabetes status, and body mass index (BMI). CDC researchers used data collected from every US state and information from the Framingham Heart Study in what they describe as the first to provide population-level estimates of heart age.

Although the older heart age phenomenon was pervasive, the range of differences play out across demographic lines. Half of American men aged 30-74, for example, have an estimated heart age that is, on average, 8 years older. Among women in the same age range, 2 in 5 have an estimated heart age that is an average of 5 years older.

Full story of heart age outpacing actual age at APTA