Blood pressure:

Hypertension is the term used to
describe high blood pressure.

Blood pressure readings are
measured in millimeters of mercury
(mmHg) and usually given as two
numbers. For example, 120 over 80
(written as 120/80 mmHg).

The top number is your systolic
pressure, the pressure created when
your heart beats. It is considered high
if it is consistently over 140.
The bottom number is your diastolic
pressure, the pressure inside blood
vessels when the heart is at rest. It is
considered high if it is consistently
over 90.




FRENCH DRUG PROCORALAN
RECEIVES EUROPEAN APPROVAL
FOR USE IN HEART FAILURE
In March 2012 the French company
Servier  announced that the
company's heart rate lowering agent,
Procoralan  (ivabradine), the first
selective If channel inhibitor, has been
approved by the European
Commission for the treatment of
patients with chronic heart failure.

Servier is France's leading
independent pharmaceutical company
and the country's second largest drug
company.  

The European Commission's decision
to authorize this new indication for
Procoralan followed the review of data
from the SHIfT trial, the largest-ever
morbi-mortality study of treatments for
chronic heart failure involving more
than 6000 patients. It demonstrated
that the treatment significantly reduced
the risk of death and hospitalization
from heart failure, and improved the
quality of life of people living with the
disease. This reduction in mortality
was highly significant in patients with a
heart rate of 75 beats per minute
(bpm), or above, for whom Procoralan
is now indicated.

Procoralan was launched in January
2006 for the treatment of stable
angina. It is the only drug to selectively
reduce heart rate by inhibiting one of
the electrical signals that determine
the heart rate, called pacemaker If
current. Procoralan reduces heart-rate
without significantly decreasing blood
pressure or the ability of the heart
muscle to pump blood.



KIDNEY PROCEDURE REDUCES HIGH
BLOOD PRESSURE
A simple surgical procedure that
destroys certain nerves in the kidney
can help patients whose condition
hasn't responded to conventional
medications.

The study was conducted on 52
patients whose blood pressure
averaged 178/96, despite the fact that
they were taking five hypertension
medications. On average, their blood
pressure dropped by 32/12, while a
control group of 54 patients receiving
only drugs showed no change.

Ardian Inc. of Mountain View, Calif.,
has developed a system in which a
small catheter is threaded through the
groin and to the kidney, where
radiofrequency energy is used to
destroy targeted nerves more
precisely.
Researchers have known for decades
that the sympathetic nervous system,
helps regulate blood pressure. Early
attempts to control it with surgery
produced severe side effects, and the
efforts were abandoned when the first
effective anti-hypertensive drugs
became available.

The team found no acute damage from
the surgery, and no significant side
effects, he said.

The procedure takes about 40 to 60
minutes and would probably cost about
$13,500, according to Ardian. An
overnight hospital stay would probably
be necessary.



DRUGS
Current blockbuster drugs: Novartis
AG's Diovan, Merck's drug Cozaar;


Potential  blockbuster: Gilead Sciences
Inc.  Darusentan (in Phase 3 trials);

ALTERNATIVE

BEET JUICE LOWERS RISK OF
STROKES
Drinking beet juice dramatically lowers
risk of heart disease and strokes.

The bright-red juice contains the
chemical nitrate, which dramatically
reduces blood pressure, cutting the
risk of heart disease and strokes.

Patients who drank a glass of beetroot
juice a day were found to have
significantly reduce blood pressure 24
hours later.
Researchers at William Harvey
Research Institute at Queen Mary
University in London,UK, compared
patients who were given a 250ml glass
of beetroot juice a day with those who
took nitrate tablets.
They found that the two methods were
equally successful in reducing blood
pressure.
The researchers concluded that the
nitrates which naturally occur in
beetroot are the cause of its beneficial
effects.
They produce a gas known as nitric
oxide in the blood which widens blood
vessels and arteries and lowers blood
pressure.

VITAMIN D
British researchers have concluded
pregnant women should be advised to
take vitamin D, saying that there is a
"strong case" to support the vitamin's
benefits.

The researchers wrote in the British
Journal of Nutrition that vitamin D will
benefit pregnant women and reduce
the risk of diseases such as infantile
hypocalcaemia and rickets.
Not only does the HEM-711DLX
Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor
utilize Omron's patented IntelliSense
technology, but it also features the
innovative Comfit Cuff. The ComFit
Cuff is pre-formed for a quick and
proper fit that is perfect for both
medium and large-sized arms (nine to
17 inches).
The Panasonic EW3109W Automatic
Arm Blood Pressure Monitor is the first
portable arm unit in the industry. The
easy-fit cuff, designed for comfort and
to assure correct and accurate use,
rolls around the slim baton-style
monitor for portability. The large "Easy
Read" LCD display gives you digital
readings on inflation with memory
capabilities that can capture up to 90
readings with an averaging feature
allowing you to save and track
readings over time.