Hypertension

Almost half of the US population has hypertension, or high blood pressure. This condition puts individuals at risk for developing a variety of serious or life-threatening conditions including heart disease, heart attack, stroke, aortic aneurysms, and kidney disease.

Although some causes of hypertension can be attributed to an individual’s genetics and biology, the condition can largely be addressed by modifying lifestyle habits.

How are people discussing diet, physical activity, and other lifestyle changes on social media with hypertension in mind?

Search Trends

The Trends Section provides an overview of some of the most recent and relevant topics that relate to particular health conditions.

It features a selection of the topics that have the fastest growing Google search interest across the last three months, and reflects the inquiries of patients, healthcare providers, scientists, and others who are invested in the topic.

This is valuable to understand people’s interests and concerns at the present moment, and often include the U.S. states that have the highest interest in a topic. 

Quilt.AI brings these trends to life through an analysis that incorporates both cultural and scientific lenses.

When it comes to drugs to manage hypertension, what are people searching for?

What is trending on search for hypertension?

Search interest for “natural blood pressure remedies” increased by 22.7% in the past 3 months, from June to August 2022

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1. Lowering blood pressure naturally

Hypertension puts one at risk of developing heart disease and stroke — two leading causes of death in the US[1]. Nearly 47% of adults in the country have hypertension or are taking medication for the condition[2]. While medication is necessary in situations, early lifestyle changes can help keep one’s blood pressure under control. 

HCPs recommend weight management, regular exercise, a low-sodium diet, and restful sleep to keep a check on one’s blood pressure[3]

People’s interest in alternative remedies is evident through searches around natural ways to reduce one’s blood pressure. This suggests a general awareness on these topics and an intent to make healthy lifestyle changes.  

2. A DASH to end hypertension

Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension – or DASH – is a popular diet designed to treat and prevent hypertension. The hallmarks of a DASH diet include foods rich in potassium, calcium, and magnesium — nutrients that are known to control blood pressure[1]

This flexible and healthy diet plan is good for the heart and one’s overall lifestyle. It focuses on good fats, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. 

Managing hypertension involves lifestyle changes, and searches for DASH diets to manage the condition reflect people’s interest in their broader health and wellbeing. 

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Search interest for “dash diet menu”  increased by 46% n the past 3 months, from June to August 2022

Search interest for “antihypertensive drugs” increased by 22% n the past 3 months, from June to August 2022

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3. Medicating hypertension

Blood pressure medication, commonly known as antihypertensive drugs or agents are commonly used in managing hypertension. Antihypertensive drugs work in different ways e.g. by removing extra fluids in the body or widening widening blood vessels for easy blood flow[1]. In the US, an estimated 50% use medication for hypertension[2]

The first-choice drugs recommended by HCPs to manage hypertension include thiazide, ACE inhibitors, and calcium channel blockers.

Searches for antihypertensive drugs showed a general increased in the US, indicating an increasing interest in exploring treatment options for managing the condition. 

4. The risk of hypertension in young people 

Research suggests that hypertension is more common in males than females. In the US, it is more prevalent in young males aged 18 to 39 years compared to females[1]

Although age is one of the risk factors for hypertension, other conditions such as obesity are becoming increasingly common among the younger population. It therefore becomes important for young people to think about long-term impacts on cardiovascular and brain health. 

The awareness of the condition and its manifestations, especially in young men, is reflected in searches related to symptoms and managing high blood pressure. 

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Search interest for “high blood pressure young male” increased by 21% n the past 3 months, from June to August 2022

Hypertension in Culture

The Culture Section highlights emerging cultural trends, new products, and notable dialogue about a variety of health conditions. The purpose of this section is to zoom in on what has been happening within the cultural and professional landscape of a particular health condition–stories that are often missed by quantitative searches.

By featuring influential social media items, patient discourse, professional dialogue, product innovations, and impactful news items, this section illuminates the lived experiences of many patients, while also providing a snapshot of the developments happening around them. 

Here, Quilt.AI offers a detailed and nuanced perspective of what is new and what is meaningful.

1. Keeping an eye on hypertension symptoms

Since hypertension can easily go unnoticed until a catastrophic event, healthcare professionals are using social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram to provide information about early warning signs of hypertension to watch out for.

Healthcare professionals and patients with a previous history of hypertension are urging others to get their blood pressure checked through the ‘Know Your Numbers’ campaign.

More generally, they’re spreading awareness about hypertension on social media, using hashtags like #hypertensionawareness and #healthawareness.

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2. Eating away hypertension 

People are using social media to talk about natural and/or home remedies that can help reduce hypertension. These remedies include eating foods that are richer in potassium and less packed with sodium.

People talk about the benefits of  natural hypertension inhibitors such as garlic, lime, kale, etc., in their daily diets. Healthcare professionals also promote the Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension or DASH diet on social media platforms.

This topic is discussed under hashtags like #DASH, #DASHdiet, #treathypertension and #highbloodpressure.

3. Controlling hypertension with lifestyle changes 

Beyond food and diet, people are also using social media platforms like TikTok to provide advice on other lifestyle changes that can help manage hypertension.

These posts include advice on how to exercise more, reduce alcohol intake and quit smoking, and come from both healthcare professionals and people living with hypertension.

These conversations take place under hashtags like #reducehypertension and #lifestyle.

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@dr.firdous_ Answer to @thrivinbear Take your meds and monitor regularly.. #hypertension #reducehypertension #highbloodpressure ♬ good 4 u - Olivia Rodrigo

4. Suspicious medicines

Especially on TikTok, people are sharing their anger and distrust in allopathic medicines that claim to treat hypertension. These commentators call out these medicines’ poor performance in treating hypertension, as well as their potentially severe side effects.

They advise viewers to seek out multiple opinions from doctors before deciding to take one of these medications. This conversation is taking place under hashtags like  #sideeffects and #learnwithtiktok.