Controlling High Blood Pressure in Diabetics may Prevent Organ Failure
Study Shows that High Blood Pressure in Diabetics is the Main Cause of Organ Failure rather than the Diabetes
A Rutgers study published October 4, 2018, in the Journal Clinical and Experimental Hypertension demonstrates how extremely high blood pressure causes organ damage in diabetics and thus the key to preventing life-threatening organ failure is to control high blood pressure.
Aim of the Study
The aim of the study was to identify risk factors for high blood pressure emergencies. The researchers gathered data about patients who were taken to the emergency department of Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey from June 2013 to May, 2016.
Study Compared Diabetic Patients to Non-diabetic Patients
They compared the hypertensive (high blood pressure) emergencies for both diabetic and non-diabetic patients. The diabetic patients made up 52% of all the hypertensive emergencies during the duration of the study. There were 264 diabetic patients with severe high blood pressure emergencies and 519 diabetic patients with high blood pressure urgencies. The majority of the patients were Afro-Americans (88.6%).
Risks of High Blood Pressure Emergencies
The chances for hypertensive emergencies were higher in diabetic patients who had raised blood cholesterol levels, coronary artery disease (CAD), congestive heart failure, insufficiency of the kidneys and low hemoglobin (anemia). Severe or worsening heart failure was the most commonly attacked organ followed by heart attacks (41.7%). However, severely high blood pressure also can also be life-threatening to the brain and kidneys.
It is estimated that 1-2% of people who suffer from high blood pressures will at some point in their lives suffer from a high blood pressure emergency and this risk is even higher in diabetics.
Both diabetic and non-diabetic patients had similar rates of organ damage which gave evidence that the severely elevated high blood pressure was the reason for the organ damage.
Ways to Prevent Hypertension Emergencies
Better ways of controlling blood pressure in patients who suffer from high blood pressure has to be utilized. More screening should take place, especially in Afro-American communities since they are so much at high risk for severely high blood pressure emergencies, especially if they are also diabetics. More has to be done with high risk patients:
More has to be done to insure that they are taking their blood pressure lowering medicines. If they are not taking their meds it may be that they are suffering side effects, so a change in their prescription may be in order.
Diabetics and people suffering from high blood pressure should be encouraged to exercise more, to get moving and walk more.
They should be encouraged to make lifestyle and dietary changes when necessary and especially to quit smoking, to stop drinking alcoholic beverages and to eat more fresh fruits, vegetables and fish.
They should be taught to avoid very salty foods and thus to stay away from processed meats, which are loaded not only with salt, but with other chemicals that can raise blood pressure.
People who suffer from high blood pressure should be encouraged to buy a monitor they can use at home to check their blood pressure on a daily basis. If they see it climbing too high they can get medical help to treat it before it escalates into a high blood pressure emergency, which can be life-threatening. Rising blood pressure can be painless and this is why it has been dubbed the “silent killer.” However, it can be seen on a monitor and nipped in the bud before it is a hypertension emergency or urgency.
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Everything should be done to prevent a hypertension emergency or urgency in people who suffer from high blood pressure and especially if they are also diabetics.