Diabetes Boosts Risks Related to High Blood Pressure in the Elderly

Approximately one out of every three adults in the United States has high blood pressure, or HBP. While most people are familiar with the term, many don't fully understand what blood pressure is.When a health care practitioner takes a blood pressure reading, they are measuring the force of blood that pushes on the arterial walls as the heart pumps. If this force or pressure rises and continues to stay high, it can have serious implications for the health.

Conditions associated with HBP are coronary heart disease, heart failure, kidney failure, stroke and diabetes. A recent study from Australia sought to determine whether one of these conditions, diabetes, increased risks for mortality associated with high blood pressure.

Researchers examined 6,083 randomized, hypertensive participants in the Second Australian National Blood Pressure (ANBP2) study who were 65-84 years of age.They wanted to determine if cases of preexisting or newly diagnosed diabetes affected the long-term survival of these elderly patients, followed for an average of 4.1 years.It was found that long-term presence of diabetes significantly lowered survival rates Further, it was concluded that for elderly hypertensive patients at risk, delayed development of diabetes might help maintain cardiovascular health.

Readers with high blood pressure or those without may be interested in several natural solutions that are currently being investigated for diabetes.


A trace mineral essential to the human body, chromium is vital for the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates, and it helps the body maintain proper insulin response. Some studies have shown that diabetics have low levels of this important mineral, and supplementation may be an effective treatment.Other studies on insulin-dependent diabetics, however, have shown no change with treatment of chromium.


Research has found that cinnamon can help maintain blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. In one study, six groups of ten individuals took 1, 3 or 6 grams of cinnamon per day or a placebo for 40 days. Results showed a significant reduction in fasting blood sugar levels for all cinnamon groups. What's more, LDL cholesterol and overall cholesterol levels were lowered as well.


While there are many kinds of ginseng, the most promising type for diabetes appears to be North American ginseng. A small study published in Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases showed that this type of ginseng may improve management of blood sugar for diabetics.

Researchers examined 19 people with well-controlled type 2 diabetes.Some participants were given ginseng supplements and others were given a placebo over 12 weeks. Those subjects who took the ginseng experienced better control over blood sugar than those who took the placebo.

Natural products make a great alternative to pharmaceuticals because they are often less expensive, and they offer little or no side effects. Because uncontrolled diabetes can be life threatening, people who are interested in any of the natural solutions above should always first check with a health care provider. Also, because some herbs and supplements can interact with medications, it is important to inform a health care provider about any that are currently being used.

Finally, if you're looking for tips to lower blood pressure naturally, you may want to try taking supplements designed for people with high blood pressure

Read More on This Topic:
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Who is Most at Risk for High Blood Pressure?
The Benefits of Swimming on Blood Pressure
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