High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is known as “the silent killer” for good reason. It has no symptoms, and is the leading cardiovascular cause of death worldwide. The American Heart Association (AHA) estimates that nearly one-half of all adults in the US suffers from high blood pressure. This means more than 100 million Americans are walking around with this deadly condition — and many of them don’t even know they have it.
The AHA notes that the number of deaths due to hypertension rose by almost 38% between 2005 and 2015 in the US, and that’s despite the development of new medications and protocols.
Such an outsized problem deserves a huge response, and that’s what hypertension just got. More than 300 researchers collaborated on a massive project to identify the genetic risk factors of hypertension.
While some risk factors for high blood pressure can be changed, like physical activity, smoking, alcohol, and diet, there are also genetic factors that predispose people to high blood pressure. If people are aware that they are genetically predisposed to the disease, researchers hope they can be more easily convinced to make the lifestyle changes that will prevent it.
The study analyzed data about systolic, diastolic, and pulse blood pressure in more than 1 million people, and cross-referenced it with their genetic data, finding “new biological insights into blood pressure regulation.”
The results, published in Nature Genetics, reveal the identity of more than 500 gene locations that are associated with high blood pressure. The results are expected to pave the way for new methods of regulating blood pressure, as well as improving our ability to prevent cardiovascular disease.
At Beacon of LIFE, in Oceanport, NJ, we take a team approach to hypertension. Beacon of LIFE is a government-approved PACE program created to provide seniors, their family, caregivers and professional health care providers the flexibility to meet their health care needs while continuing to live in their community.
Beacon of LIFE maintains an interdisciplinary team of professionals who give each client the coordinated care they need. Our staff specialize in working with older people, and work with each client and their family to develop the most effective plan of care.
We provide a variety of services, including primary care, hospital care, medical specialty services, prescription drugs, nursing home care, emergency services, home care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, adult day care, recreational therapy, meals, dentistry, nutritional counseling, social services, laboratory / X-ray services, social work counseling, and transportation.
Our care and services allow people who would otherwise need to live in a nursing home to live where they want — in their own communities, in their own homes.