The Downside of Blood Pressure Medications

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Everyone knows that your diet, exercise regimen, and even the quality of the air you breathe has an effect on your overall health. Making small changes to your lifestyle can make a big difference for the future. This also goes for the decisions that you make that are unhealthy. While having one soda every now and then will not have a huge impact on your life, drinking several each week can be very harmful to your health.

Your everyday choices also impact your blood pressure and your risk for heart disease and stroke. About 75 million Americans have high blood pressure, making the cost associated with blood pressure treatment over $46 billion each year.

The American Heart Association recently announced that nearly half of Americans may have high blood pressure, and the treatment that is often prescribed can raise one's risk for cancer.

In a recent study, researchers found that one of the most popular drugs used to treat high blood pressure increases your risk of skin cancer by seven times. In this study, the researchers showed that there is an association between the popular medication and forms of skin cancer.

The researchers looked at alternative antihypertensive medications but have not found them to be linked to skin cancer. Researchers knew that hydrochlorothiazide made skin vulnerable to damage from the sun, but the new factor to this is that using this blood pressure medicine for a long time can lead to a very significant increase in one's risk of developing skin cancer.

Other professionals have found similar results in patients where thier only risk factor aside from sun exposure seems to be taking hydrochlorothiazide. While squamous cell carcinoma does not come with a high mortality rate, the treatments present a risk of side effects and the potential for cancer to spread.

Researchers are continuing to study this risk of skin cancer because it has to be weighed against the fact that this drug is an effective treatment for many patients. However, the results should make doctors reconsider prescribing hydrochlorothiazide.

The technique doctors use to measure blood pressure can have an impact on the reading. Inaccuracies that occur in blood pressure measurements may be associated with many factors that can be controlled in the doctor's office.

You can perform a noninvasive blood pressure test at home by doing an evaluation of your waist-to-hip ratio. Research shows that the size of your waist may effectively assess the risk for hypertension that is associated with obesity. Your waist-to-hip ratio is the comparison of the weight you carry around your hips versus the weight in your waist.

To calculate your waist-to-hip ratio, look in a mirror to find the widest part of your waist. Then measure the circumference with a tape measure. Then measure the circumference of the smallest part of your waist. With these measurements, calculate your waist-to-hip ratio by dividing the measurement of your waist by the circumference of your hips.

It is currently estimated that almost half of American adults might be diagnosed with hypertension. With new guidelines, it is estimated that the number of men with hypertension under 45 will triple and the number of women under 45 will double. These new guidelines are meant to encourage people to control their blood pressure early in life.

Health experts believe that Americans can lower their blood pressure through a proper diet, exercise, and drug therapy, which could drive down the rate of heart attack and stroke. While not all doctors are convinced that these lower guidelines will have a great impact on the health of Americans, it may be a step in the right direction to get some on track to better health.