Living near foreclosed property linked to higher blood pressure

Main Point:

This study provides the first evidence that foreclosed properties may increase neighbors’ blood pressure.

Published in:


Study Further:

Living near foreclosed property may increase your risk of higher blood pressure, according to new research in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.

The study provides the first evidence that foreclosed property may affect neighbors’ systolic blood pressure, the top number in a blood pressure reading.

Neighborhood environment is an important social determinant of cardiovascular health, including blood pressure. The scale of the recent U.S. housing crisis has prompted the public health community to seek a better understanding of how foreclosure activity might impact health. The number of foreclosures spiked in the United States in 2007-10 when more than 6 million homeowners fell behind on their mortgages and banks took ownership of the homes, or foreclosed.

Researchers reviewed data from 1,740 participants (mostly white, 53 percent women) in 1987-2008 in the Framingham (Massachusetts) Offspring Cohort, which is part of the Framingham Heart Study. The researchers distinguished between real-estate-owned foreclosures, which are owned by lenders and typically sit vacant, and foreclosures purchased by third-party buyers, which are generally put into productive use.

Researchers found each additional foreclosed property within 100 meters (328 feet) of participants’ homes was associated with an average increase of 1.71 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure. The association only applied to properties that were real-estate owned and there was no effect from foreclosed properties more than 100 meters from participants’ homes.

“The increases in blood pressure observed could be due in part to unhealthy stress from residents’ perception that their own properties are less valuable, their streets less attractive or safe and their neighborhoods less stable,” said Mariana Arcaya, Sc.D., M.C.P., study lead author and Yerby Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies in Cambridge, Mass. “Safety could also be a concern that affects their ability to exercise in these neighborhoods.”

“Healthcare providers, particularly those serving neighborhoods still recovering from the recent housing crisis, should be aware of foreclosure activity as a possible source of unhealthy stress for residents,” Arcaya said.

Because the study involved predominately white, middle-class, suburban neighborhoods with single-family homes, research on different populations in urban and rural settings is needed, Arcaya said.

High blood pressure affects nearly 76 million people in the United States and is a major contributor to heart disease and stroke. Risk factors include genetics, advanced age, poor nutrition and excessive body weight and alcohol consumption. Stress and other factors may also contribute to high blood pressure.

Co-authors are: M. Maria Glymour, S.D.; Prabal Chakrabarti, M.S.; Nicholas A Christakis, M.D., Ph.D.; Ichiro Kawachi, M.D., Ph.D.; and S.V. Subramanian, Ph.D. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

The Harvard School of Public Health, the National Institutes of Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded the study.

Further Information:

American Heart Association

Implantable device to beat high blood pressure

Main Point:

An implantable device that reduces blood pressure by sending electrical signals to the brain has been created by a group of researchers in Germany.

Published in:

Journal of Neural Engineering

Study Further:

The device has successfully reduced the blood pressure in rats by 40 per cent without any major side effects, and could offer hope for a significant proportion of patients worldwide who do not respond to existing medical treatment for the condition.

The first results have been published today, 9 May, in IOP Publishing’s Journal of Neural Engineering.

The device consists of 24 individual electrodes that are integrated into a micro-machined cuff. It is designed to wrap around the vagal nerve, which extends from the brainstem to the thorax and abdomen, supplying and stimulating various major organs including the heart and major blood vessels. Read More …

Study Estimates Proportion of Adults Affected by New Blood Pressure Guideline

Main Points:

Applying the updated 2014 blood pressure (BP) guideline to the U.S. population suggests that nearly 6 million adults are no longer classified as needing hypertension medication, and that an estimated 13.5 million adults would now be considered as having achieved goal blood pressure, primarily older adults, according to a JAMA study released online to coincide with the 2014 American College of Cardiology Scientific Sessions.

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Ann Marie Navar-Boggan, M.D., Ph.D., of Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C., and colleagues quantified the proportion of adults potentially affected by the updated 2014 recommendations, compared to the previous guideline, issued nearly 10 years ago (Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure [JNC 7]). The researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) between 2005 and 2010 (n = 16,372), and evaluated hypertension control and treatment recommendations for U.S. adults. The new guideline proposed less restrictive BP targets for adults 60 years of age or older and for those with diabetes and chronic kidney disease.

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Consistent blood pressure control may cut rate of second stroke in half

Main Points:

  • Stroke survivors who consistently control their blood pressure may reduce the likelihood of a second stroke by more than 50 percent.
  • Less than a third of stroke survivors maintained consistent blood pressure control more than 75 percent of the time.

Published in:


Study Further:

Stroke survivors who consistently control their blood pressure may reduce the likelihood of a second stroke by more than half, according to new research in the American Heart Association journal Stroke.

For the study, researchers analyzed the results from the Vitamin Intervention for Stroke Prevention (VISP) trial, which enrolled 3,680 ischemic stroke patients ages 35 and older in 1996-2003. Ischemic strokes are caused by a clot or other blockage in a blood vessel supplying the brain. Participants had been tested for several risk factors, including blood pressure levels at baseline, a month after the start of the study, at six months and every six months thereafter up to 24 months.

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Vegetarian Diets Associated With Lower Blood Pressure

Main Points:

Eating a vegetarian diet appears to be associated with lower blood pressure (BP), and the diets can also be used to reduce blood pressure.

Published in:

JAMA Internal Medicine 


Yoko Yokoyama, Ph.D., M.P.H., of the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center, Osaka, Japan, and colleagues.


Factors such as diet, body weight, physical activity and alcohol intake play a role in the risk of developing hypertension. Dietary modifications have been shown to be effective for preventing and managing hypertension.

Read More …

Elevated blood pressure at home but not in clinic can indicate increased cardiovascular event risk

Individuals with normal BP in the clinic but elevated BP at home are at increased risk of death and cardiovascular events.

In an individual patient data meta-analysis of studies published before July 2013, Jan A Staessen and colleagues (University of Leuven, Belgium) found that patients with masked hypertension, or normal BP in clinic but elevated BP when measured at home, had an increased risk of death and cardiovascular events compared with those who had normal BP in both the clinic and at home.

The analysis included 5008 participants. While self-measured home BP was lower on average than clinic BP (mean home systolic BP 7.0 mm Hg and diastolic BP 3.0 mm Hg lower than the conventional blood pressure), 67 (5.0%) of those with optimal clinic BP (130/85) when BP was measured at home. Read More …

A class of blood pressure lowering drugs could reduce the chances of Alzheimer’s disease

A class of beta blockers could reduce the chances of Alzheimer's diseaseResearchers have found that a common class of blood pressure lowering drugs, i.e. beta blockers, could help to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.

In this study, researchers worked on 774 elderly Japanese-American men, who took part in the Honolulu-Asia Aging Study. Researchers performed autopsies after the death of the participants.

Out of 774 participants, 610 were diagnosed with high blood pressure or taking medications for high blood pressure. Among the participants, who were treated (nearly 350), 15% of the participants were taking only a beta blocker medicine, 18% were taking beta blocker with other medications and the rest of the participants were taking other drugs only.

Researchers found that although all types of medications are important for the treatment of blood pressure but the participants, who were taking only beta blockers had fewer abnormalities in their brain as compared to the participants, who were either taking other medicines or not taking medicines. Participants taking beta blockers alone or in combination with other drugs showed significantly less shrinkage in their brains. Read More …

Eyesight recovery after 55 years

A 63 year old man from Caucasia regained vision after 55 years.

A Causasian man showed a rare case of regaining functional vision. This man had blood in its anterior chamber of the eye (a condition known as hyphema) and due to this blood he had abnormally high blood pressure in the eyeball. Moreover, the light sensitive back of the eyeball was detached and there was no light perception vision. He was also the patient of diabetes mellitus. Read More …