Salt Hypertension: The Silent Killer


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Almost 1.3 billion adults aged 30 to 79 are hypertensive — many don’t even know it. Excessive sodium triggers inflammation and disease that begins with high blood pressure, but it can end with setting the saltshaker down. Plus, some changes to your lifestyle.

Americans love salt and ingest much more than the recommended one teaspoon a day.

Annet Kirabo, DVM, PhD at Vanderbilt University Medical Center says, “We are eating more than 10 times that amount.”

That excess salt flips the internal switch leading to hypertension and cardio disease.

“if anyone eats high salt for a long period of time, they’re likely to have their kidneys damaged, and they’re likely to have increased blood pressure.” Explains Doctor Kirabo.

Aaron Finley works in customer service and is a part-time actor. He recently found he is in two high-risk groups:  older African Americans and a group called highly sensitive to salt.

Aaron Finley, a Hypertension Patient says “Being an older African-American male, I was predisposed to getting it just with my lifestyle.”

During Doctor Kirabo’s research study, they continually measured blood pressure while participants were administered either a restricted salt diet or one very high in salt. They discovered just one salty meal can set it off.

Doctor Kirabo says, “You can go to a doctor and the doctor tells you you don’t have high blood pressure, and yet, you go home and eat a salty meal and get a stroke or get this dangerous increase in high blood pressure.”

It also creates what’s called oxidative stress.

“Corresponding to salt intake, is a rapid increase in inflammation caused by oxidative stress and oxidation of lipids” Explains Doctor Kirabo.

Reducing salt, exercising and staying active and involved with others helps, but most important is knowing if you are hypertensive.

Finley says, “To know is better than not knowing because when you don’t know and you find out, it could be catastrophic.”

So put down that saltshaker and get moving!

Doctor Kirabo advocates for a precision medicine approach for those highly salt sensitive to minimize inflammation and stave off hypertension and cardiac disease.

Contributors to this news report include:
Donna Parker, Producer; Allie Stratis, News Assistant,  Roque Correa, Editor and Videographer




REPORT #3146

BACKGROUND: Around 1.3 billion adults aged 30 to 79 years worldwide have hypertension, and less than half are diagnosed and treated. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is when the pressure in your blood vessels is too high. Sometimes, people will not feel symptoms with high blood pressure, so the only way to know is to get your blood pressure checked. For most people, the goal is to have a blood pressure less than 130/80. Some increased risks of high blood pressure are older age, genetics, being overweight or obese, not being physically active, high-salt diet, and drinking too much alcohol. Lifestyle changes can help lower blood pressure. Things like eating a healthier diet, quitting tobacco, and being more active are just a few.


HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE DANGERS: Without treatment, high blood pressure can lead to disability, a poor quality of life, or even a deadly heart attack or stroke. Damage can be done to the arteries, such as the narrowing of arteries which over time can lead to an aneurysm. It can cause damage to the heart such as coronary artery disease, heart failure, enlarged left heart, and metabolic syndrome. High blood pressure can cause the brain to have a mini stroke, called a transient ischemic attack; a larger stroke; dementia; or even mild cognitive impairment. Damaged blood vessels can also prevent the kidneys from being effective at filtering waste from the blood. This allows dangerous levels of fluid and waste to collect leading to kidney failure. High blood pressure can damage the tiny, delicate blood vessels that supply blood to the eyes causing retinopathy; choroidopathy, which is distorted vision or scarring; or optic neuropathy, which is nerve damage leading to vision loss. Finally, people with high blood pressure are even more likely to have erectile dysfunction because there is limited blood flow caused by the high blood pressure.


NEW TREATMENT FOR PULMONARY HYPERTENSION: A study led by researchers at UC Davis Health has validated a potential therapy to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension. The condition is ultimately fatal and currently lacks effective treatments. According to the study, restoring the functional growth suppressor, tuberous sclerosis complex 2 (TSC2), may help to reverse existing pulmonary vascular remodeling and pulmonary arterial hypertension. Pulmonary arterial hypertension is caused when the tiny arteries in the lung become thickened and narrowed. This restricts blood flow through the lungs, which raises the blood pressure in the lungs and causes the heart to work harder to pump blood. “Ultimately, this discovery was more than we had hoped for,” explained Elena A. Goncharova, professor of internal medicine and director of the Pulmonary Vascular Disease Program. “We realized by bringing back the growth suppressor TSC2, we could potentially return the arteries in the lung to a biological level.”


* For More Information, Contact:

Craig Boerner

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