If you get tired of taking your blood pressure medicine and sometimes think is it really worth it? New research may make you appreciate that little pill. Researchers told a meeting of the American Heart Association this week that they studied 268 patients in a blood pressure trial for four years. Half took medication to lower their systolic, or top number, blood pressure; and the other half took a placebo. After that study, participants could choose to either not take anything or take the real medication instead of the placebo.
The patients were followed for another 12 years researchers found those who used blood pressure medication, even if it was just for the short term, had a lower chance of experiencing chest pain or a heart atttack later in life. The greatest benefit was seen in those who were on medication throughout the 16 years. Those patients were three times less likely than others to have heart trouble. But those who used the medication just during the initial trial period also showed a benefit. These patients only had a one-point-six percent higher chance of heart events that patients without high blood pressure. 30% of people over the age of 80 have elevated systolic blood pressure. This type of high blood pressure is the result of hardening of the arteries. The study was presented this week at a meeting of the American Heart Association.
Test results that could have taken a week are now back in about an hour, thanks to an amazing new medical device. Bayer Diagnostics has unveiled their Advia Workcell Modular Automation System. It allows lab samples to be bar coded and sent off to a testing station within the system. Results can then be automatically entered into the hospital's computer system, and immediately accessed by doctors. Experts now using the system say it's helped them increase their lab capacity by as much as 140%.
US Pharmacopeia is expected to begin testing chewable multi-vitamins as part of a federally funded study of at-risk school children. Several thousand students will receive low-dose vitamin-mineral supplements as part of the study. The vitamins will be used in the healthy foundation's research program to measure improvements in academic performance and behavior. The healthy foundation is a non-profit organization that distributes vitamins to children at risk of malnutrition and nutrient deficiency. For more information on the study ( click here).