New information shows that one can lower their blood pressure in a very simple way. The data suggests that regular visits to your doctor’s office are undoubtedly linked to lower blood pressure.
Reuters reports on the study. How many times a year should you be visiting your doctor to lower your blood pressure? What does your physician suggest? The study shows that visiting your doctor twice a year will lower your blood pressure.
The study shows that those who went to their doctor’s office at least two times per year were more likely to keep their blood pressure under control in comparison to those who went once a year or never. People who had health insurance and underwent treatment for high cholesterol also had lower blood pressure. But is that because their doctor was helpful or because they are health conscious people in general so they have healthy habits?
Dr. Egan, who led the study, told Reuters, “People with uncontrolled high blood pressure have a greater risk for having a stroke, having a heart attack, having heart failure and even memory loss without having a stroke. Most people may not be aware of the fact that memory loss with aging is greater in people who have high blood pressure that's uncontrolled. So there are number of reasons why it's a good thing to get the blood pressure control.”
High blood pressure is a serious issue in the United States. Statistics show that around one out of every three Americans has high blood pressure, which is defined as having a reading above 140/90 mmHg. Only about fifty percent of adults with high blood pressure actually have it under control.
Reuters reports, “A national health promotion and disease prevention initiative called Healthy Living 2020 established goals to reduce the rate of high blood pressure in the U.S. from 30 percent of all adults to 27 percent, and to increase the rate of blood pressure control to greater than 60 percent of people with high blood pressure.”
How was the study conducted? Dr. Egan and his colleagues designed the study to see how the goals are moving forward. They looked at information on participants in the annual National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey who had their blood pressure checked during the time frame of 1999 to 2012. The experts found that people who were obese, did not have insurance and/or did not see their doctors once a year were much more likely to have untreated high blood pressure.
Dr. Egan and his team also scrutinized what factors were associated with good blood pressure control. “One of the things we were looking at in this analysis was some of the modifiable variables that might, if we paid more attention to them, might help move us towards the goal,” Egan said.
What were the results? The study team found that people who saw their physicians at least two times a year were more than three times more likely to get their blood pressure under control as those who did not see a doctor every year.
The differences were actually astounding. People with health insurance were about 70 percent more likely than those without it to have their blood pressure controlled. In addition, people who had high blood pressure and were being treated for high cholesterol were almost two times as likely to have their blood pressure under control.
“Egan said that when doctors control both high blood pressure and cholesterol, ‘we reduce heart disease and stroke by about 60 percent; if we treat only one we reduce it by about 30 percent, so it's a really good idea to get both treated.’ Egan also said he thinks the Healthy Americans 2020 target of 61.2 percent, or a little over three out of every five people, with high blood pressure being controlled is an excellent goal,” according to Reuters.
Dr. Wharton commented on the logic of the study to Reuters, “It’s sort of what we’ve known for years, that about a third of Americans are hypertensive and hypertension correlates with obesity. Patients who tend to go to the doctor more are going to be in tune with their health and be more likely to take their health seriously.” He also said that all these health issues are interrelated so when a person takes care of one of these issues then the other issues are also helped.