How to get rid of extra pounds and high blood pressure?

Victor LitvinenkoNews
Obesity and high blood pressure. Source: https://ru.freepik.com/author/freepik

Overweight people often suffer from high blood pressure. For example, in the United States, where 70% of Americans are obese to varying degrees, 47% of the population has hypertension. But it seems that it is possible to solve two problems with one therapy. According to two new studies, weight loss procedures effectively normalize high blood pressure.

Experts are already calling the results of the studies a "new era" of hypertension treatment. They have found that weight loss injections and bariatric surgery are more effective at lowering blood pressure than hypertension medications. How can we get rid of extra pounds and high blood pressure at the same time, and how accessible is this in our realities?

Obesity and high blood pressure: a strong connection

Hypertension and obesity are closely related, as overweight provokes pressure surges that later develop into a disease. According to AHA experts, obesity is the main cause of 75% of high blood pressure. Hypertension, in turn, provokes the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease and stroke.

"By treating one disease, obesity, we can potentially mitigate hundreds of other conditions associated with being overweight, including hypertension," said Professor Anya Yastreboff, director of the Yale Obesity Research Center.

Despite the effectiveness of blood pressure medications, only a quarter of patients with hypertension can control their blood pressure because people do not want to take the drugs. Finding a way to simplify and combine the treatment of these diseases will make life much easier for both patients and doctors, experts say.

The results of two new studies have shown a significant reduction in blood pressure in patients who have undergone weight loss procedures. In one of them, tirzepatide injections were used, in the other – bariatric surgery.

Both procedures significantly improved blood pressure levels even after five years compared to those who only took blood pressure medication. According to experts, obesity therapy may be the key to improving the overall condition of the cardiovascular system.

"Although this is not a new discovery, we now have the tools – obesity medications and surgery – that can bring enormous benefits," emphasizes Harlan Krumholz, a cardiologist at Yale University.

Tirzepatide injections are superior to hypertension drugs

The first study has shown that the obesity and diabetes drug tirzepatide significantly reduces blood pressure in overweight people who have been taking it for 9 months. The study involved 600 patients with a body mass index over 27 without diabetes but with high blood pressure.

The results showed a significant reduction in participants' systolic blood pressure, which is a major predictor of cardiovascular disease:

  • in patients taking 5 mg of tirzepatide weekly, the average reduction in systolic blood pressure was 7.4 mm Hg;
  • in those taking 10 mg, the pressure decreased by an average of 106 mm Hg;
  • in participants taking 15 mg, the pressure decreased by 8.0 mm Hg.

"A difference of 8 mm Hg is a really impressive result that rivals or exceeds most blood pressure medications," says cardiologist Krumholz.

When blood sugar levels rise after a meal, tirzepatide stimulates the body to produce more insulin, which lowers blood sugar levels. It also slows the movement of food from the stomach, which prolongs the feeling of fullness.

"Overall, these findings offer hope that new weight loss drugs are also effective in addressing many of the complications of obesity, including hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and high blood cholesterol," says Dr. Hall.

Bariatric surgery is good for hypertensive patients

According to the second study, bariatric surgery is also beneficial for lowering high blood pressure. The results of the analysis showed that obese hypertensives who underwent the procedure had a lower body mass index and took fewer blood pressure medications five years later.

The study results showed: 80% of patients who underwent bariatric surgery reduced the amount of hypertension medication, compared to 14% of those who took only medication. And 50% of those who underwent surgery achieved remission of hypertension.

"This is impressive because bariatric surgery allows obese people to lower their blood pressure and get off their hypertension medications," said Dr. David Maron, director of the Department of Preventive Cardiology.

"Although it is known that bariatric surgery is effective in treating obesity and diabetes, many people are unaware of its benefits and hesitate to undergo such invasive treatment," added Dr. Maron.

"Losing weight allows patients to eat less, lead a more active lifestyle and engage in physical activity. These factors, according to experts, have the best effect on the cardiovascular system, lowering blood pressure and improving heart health. The only obstacle to treating obesity and hypertension may be the price and insufficient insurance coverage, experts say.

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