Primary care physicians are embracing a risk-assessment tool called "Know Your Number," developed by BioSignia, to predict someone's probability of developing chronic preventable diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

With Know Your Number, patients get a detailed report that shows their specific risk levels by disease compared to their peers. The Web-based tool can track progress and is simple to use.

Most importantly, BioSignia says, it changes the tone of the conversation, creating teamlike relationships between patient and physician.

It provides disease prevention with objective data typically already collected during a physical; it assesses current level and potential improvement, not just fear motivation; it compares patients among data/risk to age/gender matched peers; and it's easy and brings preventive care and the patient's ability to change into the discussion to implement into any clinical practice.

You can learn more about it online at www.knowyournumber.com.

Little sleep, higher BP

Teens who don't sleep well or long enough may have a higher risk of elevated blood pressure that could lead to cardiovascular disease later in life, researchers report in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

They found the odds of elevated blood pressure increased 3.5 times for those with low sleep efficiency and 2.5 times for those with sleeping periods of less than 6.5 hours, even after adjusting for gender, body mass index and socioeconomic status.

Adolescents with low sleep efficiency — those who have trouble falling to sleep at night or who wake up too early — had an average 4 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) higher systolic blood pressure compared to children with higher sleep efficiency.

The study of 238 (123 boys and 115 girls) 13- to 16-year-olds is the first to examine insufficient sleep and blood pressure in healthy adolescents.

Researchers discovered that 14 percent of the adolescents had pre-hypertension or hypertension with blood pressures in the 90th percentile for their height, age and gender. Twenty-six percent of the participants had low sleep efficiency and 11 percent had an extremely short sleep duration of less than 6.5 hrs.

Nearly two-thirds of the adolescents with short sleep duration also had low sleep efficiency, while 27.9 percent of adolescents with low sleep efficiency also had short sleep duration.

The National Institutes of Health funded the study.