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Photo of blood pressure monitor on a person's arm
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Research Feature
Health experts are calling the recent release of new blood pressure guidelines a major step toward helping Americans reduce their risk of heart disease, the leading cause of U.S. deaths. Developed jointly by the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC), the guidelines now define hypertension as a systolic blood...
Patient's arm with blood pressure instrument attached.
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Research Feature
Q1: What is the significance of the systolic number in a blood pressure reading? A: A blood pressure reading involves two numbers, one over the other. The top number is the systolic number and the bottom number is the diastolic number. For example, a reading might be presented as 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). Systolic pressure , the top nu...
Patient having blood pressure taken by medical professional.
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Research Feature
OVERVIEW Purpose: The purpose of the study was to determine whether treating blood pressure to a target systolic pressure of less than 120 mm Hg is superior to treating to less than 140 mm Hg, which was the commonly recommended target at the time that the SPRINT trial was conducted . Background: High blood pressure is a major public health problem...
A person's sleep pattern is being charted out.
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Research Feature
Might lead to better understanding of sleep disorders, heart disease, and more If you feel energized or tired around the same time each day, or routinely get up early or stay up late—the familiar ‘early riser’ or ‘night owl’ syndrome—you are witnessing, in real time, your circadian rhythm at work. That’s the 24-hour internal body clock which contro...
microscope being used in research.
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Research Feature
NHLBI K-12 grants will advance implementation science Every year, the outcomes of many millions of dollars in medical and health care research are, if not lost in translation, at least significantly delayed in getting into your doctor’s office. Some experts propose that discoveries can take as long as 17 years, on average, to enter routine clinical...
A microscope being used in research
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Research Feature
A broken heart can’t fix itself—at least not yet. Consider what happens after a heart attack, when the cardiac muscle gets damaged. The heart does such a poor job at regenerating new muscle that scar tissue quickly develops in its place. The problem: that scar tissue doesn’t contract like normal tissue does, and the heart’s capacity to pump blood d...
Nkechinyem (Nke) Nwabuzor
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Research Feature
They ranged in age from 15 to 61—four African American women, all with stories to tell about their struggles with sickle cell disease, all with stories about a common experience that helped them through those struggles: participating in clinical trials. It mattered, said the women, all of whom had joined trials funded by the National Institutes of...
Microscopic view of sickle, and normal blood cells.
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Research Feature
The notion of altering a person’s genes to cure disease used to be the stuff of science fiction. But gene editing experiments aimed at the genetic disorder that causes sickle cell disease are now making their way from the laboratory to clinical trials. And researchers supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) are hoping tho...
Dr. Wally Smith  a professor of sickle cell disease at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond
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Research Feature
As the country struggles with the devastating opioid crisis, researchers say it could have dire consequences for one population with few pain-relieving alternatives: people living with sickle cell disease. The increasingly tight restrictions on opioid access, they say, is stirring fears that patients will face greater scrutiny than they already do...
Cortney Sanders
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Research Feature
Her story : Cortney Sanders had been in and out of hospitals all her life because of her SCD, but she’d never met a nurse with the disease—until one day, she did, “and I just couldn’t believe it.” The nurse told her “you can do it,” and now—after getting her associate’s degree with honors—Sanders is working toward becoming a nurse at a Florida coll...