1. High blood pressure or hypertension linked to pregnancy problems
Women suffering from high blood pressure and hypertension in the initial stages of pregnancy may have babies with severe birth defects, says a latest research. The commonly prescribed medications for treating the condition may not prove helpful, the study further added. The findings that appeared in the British Medical Journal suggest that underlying hypertension gives vent to such risks, thereby dismissing the role presumably played by antihypertensive drugs in accentuating the condition. ACE or Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor is a form of antihypertensive drug prescribed by doctors to fight hypertension. The medications are known to have toxic and harmful effects on fetuses, especially in the second trimester. However, their harmful effects on fetus during the first trimester continue to remain unclear. The lack of knowledge or proper evidence about the effects of ACE on the fetus during the early pregnancy phase prompted researchers at the California-based Kaiser Foundation Research Institute to undertake the study on around 465,750 mother-infant pairs.
2. Drugs for treating hypertension may help patients with Alzheimer’s
The number of people affected by Alzheimer’s disease is dreaded to double from the current figure in the next twenty years or so. Keeping such considerations in mind, researchers at the University of Bristol undertook a study to see whether drugs used for treating hypertension or high blood pressure might have positive effects in decreasing the number of fresh cases of the Alzheimer’s disease every year. The team primarily focused on finding out whether a specific drug called the Renin angiotensin system, used to treat high blood pressure, might slow the occurrence of Alzeihmer’s and a common variety of Dementia known as Vascualr Dementia. The study that appeared in the Journal of Alzheimer’s disease drew inspiration from the work by one of their research team members.
3. Genetics of hypertension or high-blood pressure revealed
In what can be regarded as one of most pathbreaking researches of recent times, scientists at the University of Leicester have made fresh investigations into the causes of hypertension or high blood pressure. The study, which appeared in Hypertension, a leading science journal, focused primarily on analyzing the genetic material present in human kidneys. The idea was to find the gene or genes contributing to hypertension. With this research, investigations into hypertension are expected to enter a new era of development. Researchers primarily identified key genes, micro RNAs and messenger RNAs that may have a role to play in causing the occurrence of hypertension. The study further uncovered two micro RNAs contributing to the regulation of renin. The role played by kidney in accentuating high blood pressure or hypertension has been known to the medical community for long. However, this is the first time that researchers have identified the key genes involved.
4. Use of magnesium supplements linked to decrease in blood pressure levels
Magnesium supplements may help reduce blood pressure, says a latest research. The study conducted by researchers at the University of Hertfordshire found that the magnitude of the effect increased parallel to the rise in dosage. Cardiovascular diseases claim thousands and thousands of lives every year in Europe. Elevated level of hypertension or blood pressure is a major risk factor for deaths from renal and cardiovascular diseases. The most common causes of hypertension include sedentary lifestyle, smoking, sodium intake in large amounts and inadequacy of calcium, potassium, and magnesium. The research is the first in line to suggest that magnesium supplements have a positive effect on hypertension or blood pressure. The team started out by conducting a meta-analysis where data from 22 trials involving over 1,170 people were analyzed to asses the exact effects of magnesium on hypertension. Although not all participants in the trial showed remarkable reduction in blood pressure levels, yet the over all data after combining the trials indicated that magnesium supplements reduced both diastolic and systolic blood pressure.
5. Hypertension therapies associated with significant improvements in life expectancy
People suffering from systolic hypertension, who were given chlorthalidone for four years as part of the clinical trial, showed a lower death rate and a significant gain in life expectancy free of cardiovascular deaths some two decades later compared to people who received placebo, says a latest research. Antihypertensive drug therapies have been shown to lower fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular events in meta-analyses and controlled clinical trials. Extensive data on life expectancy gains, however, are not available at present, the study further added. The research conducted by doctors at the New Brunswick based Robert Wood Johnson Medical School examined the effects of reductions in blood pressure levels on long-term consequences like life expectancy.