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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Hypertension may be Inflammatory disease

A study of more than 20,000 women provides evidence that high blood pressure in part may be an inflammatory disease, a finding that could provide new avenues for treatment, researchers said the other day.

The report from Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital said the conclusion was based on a blood protein that is a marker for inflammation and that appears to be a predictor of high blood pressure.

"Besides some long-established lifestyle and dietary risk factors, little else is known about how to identify individuals at risk for developing high blood pressure," said Dr. Howard Sesso, lead author of the study published in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association.

"This has made primary prevention efforts difficult. The data from this study are exciting as they represent the first major demonstration that C-reactive protein levels may help us predict the risk of developing hypertension," Sesso added.

Increased levels of the protein are associated with chronic activation of the immune system, otherwise known as an inflammatory response.

Read more: Hypertension may be Inflammatory disease


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