The Basics: Blood Donation

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Blood Alcohol Level: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information

 

What is a blood alcohol test?

A blood alcohol test measures the level of Alcohol in your blood. Most people are more familiar with the breathalyzer, a test often used by police officers on people suspected of drunk driving. While a breathalyzer gives fast results, it is not as accurate as measuring alcohol in the blood.

Alcohol, also known as ethanol, is the main ingredient of alcoholic drinks such as beer, wine, and liquor. When you have an alcoholic drink, it is absorbed into your bloodstream and processed by the liver. Your liver can process about one drink an hour. One drink is usually defined as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of whiskey.

If you are drinking faster than your liver can process the alcohol, you may feel the effects of drunkenness, also called intoxication. These include behavioral changes and impaired judgment. The effects of alcohol can vary from person to person, depending on a variety of factors such as age, weight, gender, and how much food you ate before drinking.

Other names: blood alcohol level test, ethanol test, ethyl alcohol, blood alcohol content

What is it used for?

A blood alcohol test may be used to find out if you:

  • Have been drinking and driving. In the United States, .08 percent blood alcohol level is the legal alcohol limit for drivers who are aged 21 and over. Drivers younger than 21 are not allowed to have any alcohol in their system when driving.
  • Are legally drunk. The legal alcohol limit for drinking in public varies from state to state.
  • Have been drinking while in a treatment program that prohibits drinking.
  • Have alcohol poisoning, a life-threatening condition that happens when your blood alcohol level gets very high. Alcohol poisoning can seriously affect basic body functions, including breathing, heart rate, and temperature.

Teens and young adults are at higher risk for binge drinking, which can cause alcohol poisoning. Binge drinking is a pattern of drinking that raises the blood alcohol level within a short period of time. Though it varies from person to person, binge drinking is usually defined as four drinks for women and five drinks for men in a two-hour period.

Young children may get alcohol poisoning from drinking household products that contain alcohol, such as mouthwash, hand sanitizer, and certain cold medicines.

Why do I need a blood alcohol test?

You may need a blood alcohol test if you are suspected of drunk driving and/or have symptoms of intoxication. These include:

  • Difficulty with balance and coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Slowed reflexes
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Mood changes
  • Poor judgment

You or your child may also need this test if there are symptoms of alcohol poisoning. In addition to the above symptoms, alcohol poisoning can cause:

  • Confusion
  • Irregular breathing
  • Seizures
  • Low body temperature

What happens during a blood alcohol test?

A health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This process usually takes less than five minutes.

Will I need to do anything to prepare for the test?

You don’t need any special preparations for a blood alcohol test.

Are there any risks to the test?

There is very little risk to having a blood test. You may have slight pain or bruising at the spot where the needle was put in, but most symptoms go away quickly.

What do the results mean?

Blood alcohol level results may be given in different ways, including percentage of blood alcohol content (BAC). Typical results are below.

  • Sober: 0.0 percent BAC
  • Legally intoxicated: .08 percent BAC
  • Very impaired: .08–0.40 percent BAC. At this blood alcohol level, you may have difficulty walking and speaking. Other symptoms may include confusion, nausea, and drowsiness.
  • At risk for serious complications: Above .40 percent BAC. At this blood alcohol level, you may be at risk for coma or death.

The timing of this test can affect the accuracy of the results. A blood alcohol test is only accurate within 6–12 hours after your last drink. If you have questions or concerns about your results, you may want to talk to a health care provider and/or a lawyer.

Is there anything else I need to know about a blood alcohol test?

A police officer may ask you to take a breathalyzer test if you are suspected of drunk driving. If you refuse to take a breathalyzer, or think the test wasn’t accurate, you may ask for or be asked to take a blood alcohol test.

References

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [Internet]. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Alcohol and Public Health: Frequently Asked Questions [updated 2017 Jun 8; cited 2018 Mar 8]; [about 3 screens]. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/faqs.htm
  2. ClinLab Navigator [Internet]. ClinLab Navigator; c2018. Alcohol (Ethanol, Ethyl Alcohol) [cited 2018 Mar 8]; [about 2 screens]. Available from: http://www.clinlabnavigator.com/alcohol-ethanol-ethyl-alcohol.html
  3. Drugs.com [Internet]. Drugs.com; c2000–2018. Alcohol Intoxication [updated 2018 Mar 1; cited 2018 Mar 8]; [about 2 screens]. Available from: https://www.drugs.com/cg/alcohol-intoxication.html
  4. Hinkle J, Cheever K. Brunner & Suddarth’s Handbook of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests. 2nd Ed, Kindle. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; c2014. Ethyl Alcohol Levels (Blood, Urine, Breath, Saliva) (Alcohol, EtOH); 278 p.
  5. Lab Tests Online [Internet]. Washington D.C.: American Association for Clinical Chemistry; c2001–2018. Ethanol [updated 2018 Mar 8; cited 2018 Mar 8]; [about 3 screens]. Available from: https://labtestsonline.org/tests/ethanol
  6. Mayo Clinic: Mayo Medical Laboratories [Internet]. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; c1995–2018. Test ID: ALC: Ethanol, Blood: Clinical and Interpretive [cited 2018 Mar 8]; [about 4 screens]. Available from: https://www.mayomedicallaboratories.com/test-catalog/Clinical+and+Interpretive/8264
  7. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Alcohol Overdose: The Dangers of Drinking Too Much; 2015 October [cited 2018 Mar 8]; [about 3 screens]. Available from: https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/AlcoholOverdoseFactsheet/Overdosefact.htm
  8. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Drinking Levels Defined [cited 2018 Mar 8]; [about 3 screens]. Available from: https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/moderate-binge-drinking
  9. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Blood Tests [cited 2018 Mar 8]; [about 3 screens]. Available from: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/blood-tests
  10. University of Rochester Medical Center [Internet]. Rochester (NY): University of Rochester Medical Center; c2017. Health Encyclopedia: Ethanol (Blood) [cited 2018 Mar 8]; [about 2 screens]. Available from: https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=167&contentid=ethanol_blood
  11. UW Health [Internet]. Madison (WI): University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority; c2018. Blood Alcohol: Results [updated 2017 Oct 9; cited 2018 Mar 8]; [about 8 screens]. Available from: https://www.uwhealth.org/health/topic/medicaltest/blood-alcohol-test/hw3564.html#hw3588
  12. UW Health [Internet]. Madison (WI): University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority; c2018. Blood Alcohol: Test Overview [updated 2017 Oct 9; cited 2018 Mar 8]; [about 2 screens]. Available from: https://www.uwhealth.org/health/topic/medicaltest/blood-alcohol-test/hw3564.html
  13. TEUW Health [Internet]. Madison (WI): University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority; c2018. Blood Alcohol: What To Think About [updated 2017 Oct 9; cited 2018 Mar 8]; [about 10 screens].XT Available from: https://www.uwhealth.org/health/topic/medicaltest/blood-alcohol-test/hw3564.html#hw3598
  14. UW Health [Internet]. Madison (WI): University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority; c2018. Blood Alcohol: Why It is Done [updated 2017 Oct 9; cited 2018 Mar 8]; [about 3 screens]. Available from: https://www.uwhealth.org/health/topic/medicaltest/blood-alcohol-test/hw3564.html#hw3573

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Ketones in Blood: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information

 

What is a ketones in blood test?

A ketones in blood test measures the level of ketones in your blood. Ketones are toxic substances that your body makes if your cells don’t get enough glucose (blood sugar). Glucose is your body’s main source of energy.

Ketones can show up in blood or urine. High ketone levels may indicate diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a complication of diabetes that can lead to a coma or even death. A ketones in blood test can prompt you to get treatment before a medical emergency occurs.

Other names: Ketone bodies (blood), serum ketones, beta-hydroxybutyric acid, acetoacetate

What is it used for?

A ketones in blood test is mostly used to check for diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) in people with diabetes. DKA can affect anyone with diabetes, but it is most common for people with type 1 diabetes. If you have type 1 diabetes, your body does not make any insulin, the hormone that controls the amount of glucose in your blood. People with type 2 diabetes can make insulin, but their bodies don’t use it properly.

Why do I need a ketones in blood test?

You may need a ketones in blood test if you have diabetes and symptoms of DKA. DKA symptoms include:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dry or flushed skin
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fruity smell on breath
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion

What happens during a ketones in blood test?

A health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.

You may also be able to use an at-home kit to test for ketones in blood. While instructions may vary, your kit will include some kind of device for you to prick your finger. You will use this to collect a drop of blood for testing. Read the kit instructions carefully, and talk to your health care provider to make sure you collect and test your blood correctly.

Your health care provider may order a ketones in urine test in addition to or instead of a ketones in blood test to check for diabetic ketoacidosis. He or she may also want to check your A1c levels and blood glucose levels to help monitor your diabetes.

Will I need to do anything to prepare for the test?

You don’t need any special preparations for a ketones in blood test.

Are there any risks to the test?

There is very little risk to having a blood test. You may have slight pain or bruising at the spot where the needle was put in, but most symptoms go away quickly.

What do the results mean?

A normal test result is negative. This means no ketones were found in your blood. If high blood ketone levels are found, it may mean you have diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). If you have DKA, your health care provider will provide or recommend treatment, which may involve going to the hospital.

Other conditions can cause you to test positive for blood ketones. These include:

  • Eating disorders, malnutrition, and other conditions where the body does not take in enough calories
  • Pregnancy. Sometimes pregnant women will develop blood ketones. If high levels are found, it can mean gestational diabetes, a type of diabetes that only affects pregnant women.

If you have questions about your results, talk to your health care provider.

Is there anything else I need to know about a ketones in blood test?

Some people use at-home kits to test for ketones if they are on a ketogenic or “keto” diet. A keto diet is type of weight-loss plan that causes a healthy person’s body to make ketones. Be sure to talk to your health care provider before going on a keto diet.

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Ketones in Blood Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information

 

What is a ketones in blood test?

A ketones in blood test measures the level of ketones in your blood. Ketones are toxic substances that your body makes if your cells don’t get enough glucose (blood sugar). Glucose is your body’s main source of energy.

Ketones can show up in blood or urine. High ketone levels may indicate diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a complication of diabetes that can lead to a coma or even death. A ketones in blood test can prompt you to get treatment before a medical emergency occurs.

Other names: Ketone bodies (blood), serum ketones, beta-hydroxybutyric acid, acetoacetate

What is it used for?

A ketones in blood test is mostly used to check for diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) in people with diabetes. DKA can affect anyone with diabetes, but it is most common for people with type 1 diabetes. If you have type 1 diabetes, your body does not make any insulin, the hormone that controls the amount of glucose in your blood. People with type 2 diabetes can make insulin, but their bodies don’t use it properly.

Why do I need a ketones in blood test?

You may need a ketones in blood test if you have diabetes and symptoms of DKA. DKA symptoms include:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dry or flushed skin
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fruity smell on breath
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion

What happens during a ketones in blood test?

A health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.

You may also be able to use an at-home kit to test for ketones in blood. While instructions may vary, your kit will include some kind of device for you to prick your finger. You will use this to collect a drop of blood for testing. Read the kit instructions carefully, and talk to your health care provider to make sure you collect and test your blood correctly.

Your health care provider may order a ketones in urine test in addition to or instead of a ketones in blood test to check for diabetic ketoacidosis. He or she may also want to check your A1c levels and blood glucose levels to help monitor your diabetes.

Will I need to do anything to prepare for the test?

You don’t need any special preparations for a ketones in blood test.

Are there any risks to the test?

There is very little risk to having a blood test. You may have slight pain or bruising at the spot where the needle was put in, but most symptoms go away quickly.

What do the results mean?

A normal test result is negative. This means no ketones were found in your blood. If high blood ketone levels are found, it may mean you have diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). If you have DKA, your health care provider will provide or recommend treatment, which may involve going to the hospital.

Other conditions can cause you to test positive for blood ketones. These include:

  • Eating disorders, malnutrition, and other conditions where the body does not take in enough calories
  • Pregnancy. Sometimes pregnant women will develop blood ketones. If high levels are found, it can mean gestational diabetes, a type of diabetes that only affects pregnant women.

If you have questions about your results, talk to your health care provider.

Is there anything else I need to know about a ketones in blood test?

Some people use at-home kits to test for ketones if they are on a ketogenic or “keto” diet. A keto diet is type of weight-loss plan that causes a healthy person’s body to make ketones. Be sure to talk to your health care provider before going on a keto diet.

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Immunoglobulins Blood Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information

 

What is an immunoglobulins blood test?

This test measures the amount of immunoglobulins, also known as antibodies, in your blood. Antibodies are proteins made by the immune system to fight disease-causing substances, like viruses and bacteria. Your body makes different types of immunoglobulins to fight different types of these substances.

An immunoglobulins test usually measures three specific types of immunoglobulins. They are called igG, igM, and IgA. If your levels of igG, igM, or IgA are too low or too high, it may be a sign of a serious health problem.

Other names: quantitative immunoglobulins, total immunoglobulins, IgG, IgM, IgA testing

What is it used for?

An immunoglobulins blood test may be used to help diagnose a variety of conditions, including:

Why do I need an immunoglobulins blood test?

You may need this test if your health care provider thinks your immunoglobulin levels might be too low or too high.

Symptoms of levels that are too low include:

  • Frequent and/or unusual bacterial or viral infections
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Sinus infections
  • Lung infections
  • Family history of immunodeficiency

If your immunoglobulin levels are too high, it may be a sign of an autoimmune disease, a chronic illness, an infection, or a type of cancer. Symptoms of these conditions vary greatly. Your health care provider may use information from your physical exam, medical history, and/or other tests to see if you are at risk for one of these diseases.

What happens during an immunoglobulins blood test?

A health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.

Will I need to do anything to prepare for the test?

You don’t need any special preparations for an immunoglobulins blood test.

Are there any risks to the test?

There is very little risk to having a blood test. You may have slight pain or bruising at the spot where the needle was put in, but most symptoms go away quickly.

What do the results mean?

If your results show lower than normal levels of immunoglobulins, it may indicate:

If your results show higher than normal levels of immunoglobulins, it may indicate:

If your results are not normal, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have a medical condition needing treatment. The use of certain medicines, alcohol, and recreational drugs can affect your results. If you have questions about your results, talk to your health care provider.

Is there anything else I need to know about an immunglobulins blood test?

Your health care provider may order other tests to help make a diagnosis. These tests might include urinalysis, other blood tests, or a procedure called a spinal tap. During a spinal tap, a health care provider will use a special needle to remove a sample of a clear liquid, called cerebrospinal fluid, from your back.

References

  1. Hinkle J, Cheever K. Brunner & Suddarth’s Handbook of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests. 2nd Ed, Kindle. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; c2014. Quantitative Immunoglobulins: IgA, IgG, and IgM; 442–3 p.
  2. Johns Hopkins Medicine [Internet]. Johns Hopkins Medicine; Health Library: Lumbar Puncture (LP) [cited 2018 Feb 17]; [about 3 screens]. Available from: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/test_procedures/neurological/lumbar_puncture_lp_92,p07666
  3. Lab Tests Online [Internet]. Washington D.C.: American Association for Clinical Chemistry; c2001–2018. Quantitative Immunoglobulins [updated 2018 Jan 15; cited 2018 Feb 17]; [about 3 screens]. Available from: https://labtestsonline.org/tests/quantitative-immunoglobulins
  4. Loh RK, Vale S, Maclean-Tooke A. Quantitative serum immunoglobulin tests. Aust Fam Physician [Internet]. 2013 Apr [cited 2018 Feb 17]; 42(4):195–8. Available from: https://www.racgp.org.au/afp/2013/april/quantitative-serum-immunoglobulin-tests
  5. Mayo Clinic: Mayo Medical Laboratories [Internet]. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; c1995–2018. Test ID: IMMG: Immunoglobulins (IgG, IgA, and IgM), Serum: Clinical and Interpretative [cited 2018 Feb 17; [about 4 screens]. Available from: https://www.mayomedicallaboratories.com/test-catalog/Clinical+and+Interpretive/8156
  6. Merck Manual Consumer Version [Internet]. Kenilworth (NJ): Merck & Co. Inc.; c2018. Autoimmune Disorders [cited 2018 Feb 17]; [about 2 screens]. Available from: http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/immune-disorders/allergic-reactions-and-other-hypersensitivity-disorders/autoimmune-disorders
  7. Merck Manual Consumer Version [Internet]. Kenilworth (NJ): Merck & Co. Inc.; c2018. Overview of Immunodeficiency Disorders [cited 2018 Feb 17]; [about 2 screens]. Available from: https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/immune-disorders/immunodeficiency-disorders/overview-of-immunodeficiency-disorders
  8. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Blood Tests [cited 2018 Feb 17]; [about 3 screens]. Available from: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/blood-tests
  9. Nemours Children’s Health System [Internet]. Jacksonville (FL): The Nemours Foundation; c1995–2018. Blood Test: Immunoglobulins (IgA, IgG, IgM) [cited 2018 Feb 17]; [about 3 screens]. Available from: http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/test-immunoglobulins.html
  10. University of Rochester Medical Center [Internet]. Rochester (NY): University of Rochester Medical Center; c2018. Health Encyclopedia: Quantitative Immunoglobulins [cited 2018 Feb 17]; [about 2 screens]. Available from: https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=167&contentid=quantitative_immunoglobulins
  11. UW Health [Internet]. Madison (WI): University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority; c2018. Immunoglobulins: Results [updated 2017 Oct 9; cited 2018 Feb 17]; [about 8 screens]. Available from: https://www.uwhealth.org/health/topic/medicaltest/immunoglobulins/hw41342.html#hw41354
  12. UW Health [Internet]. Madison (WI): University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority; c2018. Immunoglobulins: Test Overview [updated 2017 Oct 9; cited 2018 Feb 17]; [about 2 screens]. Available from: https://www.uwhealth.org/health/topic/medicaltest/immunoglobulins/hw41342.html
  13. UW Health [Internet]. Madison (WI): University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority; c2018. Immunoglobulins: What Affects the Test [updated 2017 Oct 9; cited 2018 Feb 17]; [about 9 screens]. Available from: https://www.uwhealth.org/health/topic/medicaltest/gamma-globulin-tests/hw41342.html#hw41355
  14. UW Health [Internet]. Madison (WI): University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority; c2018. Immunoglobulins: Why It is Done [updated 2017 Oct 9; cited 2018 Jan 13]; [about 3 screens]. Available from: https://www.uwhealth.org/health/topic/medicaltest/gamma-globulin-tests/hw41342.html#hw41349

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New Blood Pressure Guidelines: What you Need to Know

 

Understanding your blood pressure reading

Making sense of your blood pressure reading can be tricky, but we’ve broken it down to help you better understand what the numbers mean.

A blood pressure reading involves two numbers, one over the other. For example, a reading might be presented as 120/80.

Systolic pressure, the top number, is the pressure on the arteries when the heart beats and pumps blood.

Diastolic pressure, the bottom number, is the pressure on the arteries in between heartbeats.

Although both systolic and diastolic measures are important, research has found that systolic pressure is a strong predictor of heart problems caused by high blood pressure, especially among older adults. Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80.

New blood pressure guidelines

In late 2017, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology announced updated high blood pressure guidelines. The new guidelines are based, in part, on research carried out and funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) at NIH.

Under the updated AHA/ACC guidelines, if you have systolic blood pressure rates of 130 and higher you are considered to have high blood pressure. The old guidelines set high blood pressure rates at 140 or higher.

These new guidelines were informed by a number of clinical studies that showed that lifestyle changes can help high-risk individuals reduce their blood pressure—and may ultimately save lives.

Those changes include heart-healthy diets, weight loss, and exercise as key first steps in reaching a lower blood pressure target.

One study that helped inform the guidelines was the SPRINT (Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention) trial, which was supported by NHLBI.

SPRINT studied 9,300 adults, aged 50 and older, at risk for heart disease from around the U.S. It showed that achieving a lower blood pressure goal of 120 mm Hg (instead of 140) reduced the rate of heart events by about 25 percent and the overall risk of death by 27 percent.

Talk to your health care provider

You can measure your blood pressure at home with a monitor and in your health care provider’s office. Some people have higher blood pressure readings at the doctor’s office due to the stress that appointments can create. It’s known as “white coat hypertension.”

Be sure to talk to your health care provider about your blood pressure reading and any follow-up steps you need to take.

SOURCE: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: Blood Pressure Reading Opens new window

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Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) Study

 

In adults age 50 and older who had high blood pressure and at least one additional cardiovascular disease risk factor, but who had no history of diabetes or stroke, SPRINT showed that treating to a target systolic blood pressure of less than 120 mm Hg reduced rates of high blood pressure complications, such as heart attack, heart failure, and stroke, by 25 percent. Compared with the standard target systolic pressure of 140 mm Hg, treating to less than 120 mm Hg also lowered the risk of death by 27 percent. In 2015, the SPRINT Research Group published its findings in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The cardiovascular benefits of the lower systolic blood pressure target were consistent in all groups of people included in SPRINT, regardless of gender, race, age, or pre-existing CKD. To achieve the target systolic blood pressure of less than 120 mm Hg, the first treatment group received three medicines on average. The second treatment group received two medicines to treat to the target systolic blood pressure of less than 140 mm Hg. Participants had high levels of satisfaction with treatment and adherence to medicines regardless of which treatment group they were in.

In the lower blood pressure group, there were expected side effects from blood pressure medicines, such as lower blood levels of potassium and sodium. Treating to the target systolic blood pressure of less than 120 mm Hg also showed an increase in complications due to low blood pressure such as fainting; however, there was not an increased risk of falls. Overall, the benefits in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and death outweighed the potential side effects of treating to a lower blood pressure target.

SPRINT included a large group of adults age 75 and older, and a separate analysis confirmed that treating to a lower blood pressure target reduced complications of high blood pressure and saved lives in older adults, as with the overall study population, even for older study participants who had poorer overall health. This was an important finding because a large percentage of the U.S. population age 75 and older have high blood pressure.

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ITP – Mayo Clinic

Dr. Carola Arndt, a Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist at Mayo Clinic, discusses Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP). ITP, also called immune thrombocytopenic purpura, is a blood-clotting disorder that can lead to easy or excessive bruising and bleeding. Dr. Arndt discusses symptoms, diagnoses, and treatment options.

To learn more about ITP, click here: http://www.mayoclinic.org/itp/.

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The Heart and Circulatory System – How They Work

This animation features the heart and circulatory system and how they work. For more information, visit:
► http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/heart-disease/DS01120/?mc_id=youtube

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