Today’s Headlines: Blood Pressure, Cancer, and Eye Health

Your high blood pressure diagnosis may be from anxiety about your doctor’s visit, rather than an actual health concern. Some people can be mistakenly diagnosed with high blood pressure due to extreme anxiety towards doctor’s appointments. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is urging doctors to diagnose high blood pressure in a different way to avoid this type of inaccuracy. ‘“We’re encouraging physicians to confirm a new diagnosis of high blood pressure in their patients using either ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, which means wearing a cuff for 24 hours while the blood pressure gets checked every 20 or 30 minutes, and confirming that the blood pressure isn’t just elevated in the office, but that it’s also elevated at home or at work,’ said Dr. Mark Ebell of the University of Georgia and a member of the task force.” The task force is hopeful that screening blood pressure in this way in the future can help eliminate blood pressure medication for those that don’t really need it, and also discover people who do need to be monitored and regulated that may have slipped under the radar. (NBC)

Cancer survivors may have worse diets than other groups of people. A new study has shown that cancer patients in remission on average had diets higher in sugar, fat, and alcohol. “For at least some cancer survivors, dietary habits can be shaped by the lingering effects of their treatment or the tumors they endured….Survivors may be dealing with altered taste, decreased appetite and fatigue which can all contribute to a lack of ability or interest needed to prepare and eat healthy meals…” While the study did not provide definitive answers or solutions for cancer survivors’ diets, it encouraged mindfulness and a balanced diet to reduce the risk of cancer returning. (Reuters)

Certain fruits and vegetables are considered helpful for vision health. Fruits and vegetables that contain carotenoids assist in improving eyesight as well as other health factors. “In AMD [a problem resulting in vision loss], the central part of the retina, called the macula, deteriorates, causing severe vision loss. Those who ate the most vegetables and fruits high in carotenoids — the yellow, red, orange and dark green pigments found in these foods — were the least likely to develop advanced AMD.” This study can be particularly important for older people, because AMD is the main reason for vision problems in those that are 60 and above. (Washington Post)