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Old 11-06-2005, 09:00 PM   #1
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For Lenin, Harry or any other statistics monger...

Greetings,

I am wondering if anyone can find hard numbers with specifics on the effects of high blood pressure? I have tried searching the net, but generally you get these vague statements such as "you are 50% more likely for...." But this really is deceptive. For instance, I know that smokers are 50% more likely to get lung cancer than non smokers. But since lung cancer in the non-smoking population is about 5%, that means that it is about 8% in the smoking population. But the general idea we are given is smoking=lung cancer.

So I wonder. I have known people with off the charts pressure who have lived to be quite old. Any bump of a guess on how high and how long one would have to let BP go before it took a toll? It's all so confusing. I also am a bit suspect of the continued lowering of the bar on what constitutes HBP. I'll bet Pfizer is happy though. ;-)

Regards, Brenden.

 
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Old 11-06-2005, 10:14 PM   #2
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Re: For Lenin, Harry or any other statistics monger...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Editor
For instance, I know that smokers are 50% more likely to get lung cancer than non smokers. But since lung cancer in the non-smoking population is about 5%, that means that it is about 8% in the smoking population. But the general idea we are given is smoking=lung cancer.
The risk is MUCH greater than you indicate. The data I've seen indicates that the risk is about 10 times greater for smokers (not 50%). This assumes a typical pack a day smoker. This risk goes up or down depending on the quantity smoked. Also, I don't believe that the non-smoking population has anywhere near a 5% chance of getting lunch cancer. For a non-smoker the rate is around 1 per 10,000 per year. I believe this factors to something less than 1%. Now, for a smoker (1 per 1000 per year), you're probably looking at something in the 5-10% range over a lifetime.

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Old 11-06-2005, 11:17 PM   #3
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Re: For Lenin, Harry or any other statistics monger...

Hi Pal,

Yes, I've read those stats too. I've seen everything from 50% higher, twice as likely, 5 times greater on up to 22 times as likely! It seems there are some variables and I'm not sure who really is running the show anymore! Either way, I've never been a smoker and have no plans on starting. But I also know that there is a case to be made that suggests a ginning of the numbers...but thats not my question anyway. I'm still trying to find the hard numbers and stats on HBP.

Regards, Brenden.

 
Old 11-07-2005, 04:31 AM   #4
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Re: For Lenin, Harry or any other statistics monger...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Palamedes
The data I've seen indicates that the risk is about 10 times greater for smokers (not 50%). ... Also, I don't believe that the non-smoking population has anywhere near a 5% chance of getting lung cancer.
When one is discussing the effects of smoking, one should also consider all of the possible smoking-related health problems, not just lung cancer, such as:
  • Bladder cancer
  • Lung disease
  • Mouth cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Pancreas cancer
  • High blood pressure
  • Cervical cancer
  • Stroke
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Kidney cancer
  • Early menopause

For high blood pressure: Among other health problems, high blood pressure can lead to:
  • arteriosclerosis
  • heart attack
  • stroke
  • enlarged heart
  • kidney damage
  • other organ damage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Editor
Greetings,

I am wondering if anyone can find hard numbers with specifics on the effects of high blood pressure?
Finding accurate statistics is tough with high blood pressure. When a patient comes in with kidney disease and high blood pressure, or heart failure and high blood pressure, or a stroke and high blood pressure, the exact causes of the health problems are complex are not easily defined.

During my own battle against high blood pressure, I found that, over the years, my health problems gradually got worse during the years that my blood pressure was gradually increasing. When I finally got my blood pressure under control, my health problems significantly got better over a relatively short period of time.

Last edited by Machaon; 11-07-2005 at 04:37 AM.

 
Old 11-07-2005, 07:09 AM   #5
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Re: For Lenin, Harry or any other statistics monger...

EDITOR,

You will NOT find such numbers about hypertension on the net...only generalities based on further generalities. I know, I've looked.

I, unlike you, place GREAT weight on relative risk statistics and am always flummoxed when I hear someone confuses the issue with ABSOLUTE risk, especially when one is talking about heart disease and cancer, bothe HUGE killers.

That said, I STILL can't find convincing evidence that hypertension is a large element in congestive heart disease or in plaque formation. It seems that it is just ASSUMED like "exercise is good for you."
I have no problem in directly correllating blood pressure and hemorrhagic stroke, or death from preexisting heart failure, or amplification of kidney disease. But personally I think the correlation between modestly high blood pressure (say 140-160/90-95) and coronary blockage is simply not demonstrable.

My jury is out even on the possiblility that someone who has several clogged arteries is putting hijmself at further risk by artificially lowering his blood pressure. Hypertension may very well be a way the body forces collateral circulation.

If you see anything convincing either way, let me know.

Can you IMAGINE if they ever broke a story that said "lowering blood pressure may cause more cardiac deaths?" That would make the Vioxx story look like a kindergarten tea party!

YES, SMOKING = DEATH by lung cancer and emphysema.

Last edited by Lenin; 11-07-2005 at 07:11 AM.

 
Old 11-07-2005, 07:32 AM   #6
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Re: For Lenin, Harry or any other statistics monger...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenin
That said, I STILL can't find convincing evidence that hypertension is a large element in congestive heart disease ...
When there is more pressure within someone's circulatory system, the heart has to work harder and there is more stress on one's heart. Over time, more stress and pressure on the heart can cause it to enlarge. The higher and more constant the pressure, the higher the risk of all kinds of health problems.

 
Old 11-07-2005, 11:48 AM   #7
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Re: For Lenin, Harry or any other statistics monger...

So hbp causes an enlarged heart, kidney failure, weakening of arteries etc. that can lead to stroke. It's relationship to heart attacks is unclear.

 
Old 11-07-2005, 05:38 PM   #8
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Re: For Lenin, Harry or any other statistics monger...

Greetings,

Thanks for your replies. For the record, I am not a smoker, nor am I an apologist for smoking. My point merely was that I have seen these statistics massaged over the years.

Anyway, a thought occured to me: Notice how when you take a med for HBP that actually works for you, then you stop suddenly, that your BP will launch up much higher than it ever did prior to taking meds? Ever notice also, that many of us have had BP controlled by a med for a while, then find that after a certain amount of time we have to take more of the med, or add another to acheive the desired result? This got me wondering, why is this the case?

Apparently, our bodies, for whatever reason, either LIKE or GET USED TO a certain pressure. When we control the pressure via meds, the body attempts to get that pressure up. When I took Lisinopril it worked great! I didn't even have a cough! But, when my pressure dropped to below 120/70 my heart rate went from 65 BPM to 95 BPM. Now, is this increase in heart rate a "healthy" alternative to having an unmedicated 135-145/80-92?

What mechanisms kick in and how do they work so that our bodies require more of and different meds to acheive the same results? And, does the body's mechanisms to increase our artificially acheieved lower BP in itself cause unseen problems?

Just something to think about.

Regards, Brenden.

 
Old 11-07-2005, 11:00 PM   #9
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Re: For Lenin, Harry or any other statistics monger...

Good questions. I think, without enough evidence, that the unmedicated 135 would
actually be more healthy, esp. if the bp medicine affected your heart rate that much.
But what if your unmedicated systolic is, say, 180? Then it seems to me equally clear
that a medicated 130 would be much more healthy, even if your heart rate is affected, and even if there really may be somewhat dangerous side effects from the body resisting the artificial drop in bp. All you have to do is read these threads to know that bp medication is no cure for anything and works very unreliably and temporarily in most cases, but it's still for fairly severe cases of bp obviously much
better than nothing. There's no doubts that a good number of those who read these
messages would be dead without it.

 
Old 11-08-2005, 06:23 AM   #10
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Re: For Lenin, Harry or any other statistics monger...

Quote:
Originally Posted by beerzoids
When there is more pressure within someone's circulatory system, the heart has to work harder and there is more stress on one's heart. Over time, more stress and pressure on the heart can cause it to enlarge. The higher and more constant the pressure, the higher the risk of all kinds of health problems.
Yes indeed, all true...but none of that convinces me that high blood pressure is a cause or a significant contributor to coronart artery disease.
Remember that EXERCISE does the same as the first bold print.
And yes, the second bold print is a problem for those that experience it...but not everyone gets an enlarged heart from hypertension at 160 systolic...in fact I think a high systolic and a reasonable diastolic (a common scenario in a duffer) may preclude the enlargement because the systolic occurs in only a small fraction of the heat beat wave.

And I won't much dispute the even the third bold phrase but I'd leave out the "all kinds"...there aren't really many.

For me and my health problem, blockage in arterial arteries, I have grave doubts whether hypertension control is good or bad. I KNOW I survived for many years with a completely blocked right coronary artery. What kept me alive for nearly a decade was an elaborate collateral circulation of hundreds of teeny vessels (I saw them) that bypassed the blockage. Whether this blockage called for raising my BP as it formed and worsened or whether the BP was fortuitous, what I am convinced of is that blood pressures higher than normal enhanced/forced the blood to break though the normal pathway and form new routes.

I would think a VERY good study to test this would be to separate heart attack victims into two equal sized groups...those with a history of hypertension and those who were normotensive for the previous years. My very strong hunch would be that the hypertensives would show better survivaility because of the presence of pre-existing collateral circulation from years of higher pressure. But can you imagine any drug company DARING to finance such a study .

I am NOT implying that those with hypertension shouldn't treat it nor am I saying someone suffering heart failure with grossly enlarged hearts shoudn't treat it VIGOROUSLY but I AM finding fault with the oft repeated mantra conecting hypertension with ALL forms of heart disease. I think that the two (or ONE depending on how you view them) most COMMON forms of heart disease, i.e.,plaque/clogging/angina syndrome and sudden heart attack operate outside the realm of hypertension. Like I said, my jury is very much out on the subject and the results are sketchy to non-existant.

The body isn't stupid and evolution has provided hypertension often as an adjunt to aging...isn't it reasonable that it has a purpose? I think collateral circulation formation is one of them and an important one to boot.

Just a couple interesting asides:
Notice that for all beta blocker's prescribing info there is the proviso that beta-blockage may enhance the likelihood of death in the event of a heart attack?
Notice also the frequency that you hear: "Oh, it was a 'mild heart attack' and there's no cardiac damage." What made it a mild one as opposed to a "massive heart attack...and he was found dead in his soup?"
Why do kids in their 20's almost always drop dead almost instantly if they have a heart attack but the elderly do not?

Collateral circulation is fascinating and I think the average doctor knows bupkis about it.
If you constrict a river what happens is that it deepens and increases the water pressure on it's banks...this increased pressure forces other channels to the sea...the more pressure, the more channels. The engineer in me leads me to believe the bloodstream follows exactly the same rules of fluid mechanics.

Last edited by Lenin; 11-08-2005 at 07:04 AM.

 
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