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High BP more dangerous for women

A new study has revealed that high blood pressure is potentially more dangerous for women than men.

Scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center for the first time found significant differences in the mechanisms that cause high blood pressure in women as compared to men.

“This is the first study to consider sex as an element in the selection of antihypertensive agents or base the choice of a specific drug on the various factors accounting for the elevation in blood pressure,” lead author of the study, Carlos Ferrario, said.

Although there has been a significant decline in cardiovascular disease mortality in men during the last 20 to 30 years, the same has not held true for women, Ferrario said.
In the comparative study, 100 men and women age 53 and older with untreated high blood pressure and no other major diseases were evaluated using an array of specialized tests that indicated whether the heart or the blood vessels were primarily involved in elevating the blood pressure.

The researchers found 30 to 40 percent more vascular disease in the women compared to the men for the same level of elevated blood pressure. In addition, there were significant physiologic differences in the women's cardiovascular system, including types and levels of hormones involved in blood pressure regulation, that contribute to the severity and frequency of heart disease

‘Distracting’ smartphones can act as mentors in mindfulness

An Indian origin researcher has suggested that smartphones which are often considered as distractors can act as mentors in mindfulness, helping users stay attentive in order to achieve particular goals.

Jasprit Singh, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at University of Michigan, put before students from engineering, art, music, health fields and a variety of other backgrounds designed mobile apps to help users set and meet wellness milestones.

The definition of “wellness” was broad, encompassing creativity and learning in addition to physical and mental health.

“In our culture today, we often don’t have scarcity of food or gadgets or knowledge. The scarcity has shifted to mindfulness,” Singh said. “We may know we should do something, but we are not always able to do it. The goal of this course was to bring harmony between what we know and what do.”

The apps the students developed in this first class focused on delivering messages to users at a set time or place. An app called Balance, targeted to senior citizens, offers easy and routine access to short exercise videos that could improve coordination and prevent falls.

How to remain comfortable while exercising in cold

An exercise science professor has compiled seasonal fitness tips to keep individuals fit, inspired, and warm during the winter months

Dr  Heidi Freeman, PhD, program director of exercise science and wellness management at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, said that once chilly weather arrives, the temptation to skip outdoor exercise routine can often be very strong, however, the cold weather does not have to mean an end to outdoor exercise, and it certainly shouldn’t intimidate exercisers.

She has listed out some ways which can help people brave cold during their exercise routine:

People should dress in layers, which they can remove as soon as they start to sweat, then put back on as needed. First, put on a thin layer of synthetic material, such as polypropylene, which draws sweat away from your body; and avoid cotton, which stays wet next to your skin. Next, add a layer of fleece or wool for insulation. Top this with a waterproof, breathable outer layer.

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