Recent Progresses on Hypertension Research

1 Long-term high blood pressure may damage the blood vessel health of the brain

Recently, scientists from the University of Michigan School of Medicine and other institutions have discovered that long-term high blood pressure may increase the risk of damage to small blood vessels in the brain, which is often directly related to the risk of dementia and stroke. In this study, researchers focused on analyzing how high blood pressure affects the cerebral small vessel disease, which is the most frequent cerebrovascular disease in stroke and dementia patients. The results of the study have been published on Hypertension.

2 Drinking milk can reduce the risk of diabetes and hypertension

A recent large international study found that there is an association between higher consumption of dairy products (especially whole milk products) and lower blood pressure and lower incidence of diabetes. Volunteers participating in the research included nearly 150,000 people from 21 countries. The age of the participants ranged from 35 to 70 years old. Researchers used questionnaires to understand the food intake of participants throughout the year. Participants in the survey outlined their intake of certain types of food, including milk products such as milk, yogurt, cheese, etc.

3 Hypertension may be closely related to the increased risk of death from COVID-19 infection

Scientists from Xijing Hospital and other institutions found that compared with patients without hypertension, the risk of dying from COVID-19 infection in hypertensive patients is twice that of the former. In addition, hypertensive patients who are not taking medication to control their blood pressure may be at higher risk of death due to COVID-19 infection. The research has been published in European Heart Journal. The researchers analyzed the data of 2,866 patients admitted to Wuhan Huoshenshan Hospital from February 5 to March 15, 2020, of which 850 (29.5%) patients had a history of hypertension. Researcher Professor Li Fei said that 34 (4%) of 850 hypertensive patients died of COVID-19, while 22 (1.1%) of 2027 non-hypertensive patients died of COVID-19.

4 High blood pressure at night is more likely to affect brain health

Most people’s blood pressure drops at night, which is called “hypotension”. But for people with high blood pressure, their night blood pressure will remain the same or even rise. A new study shows that people with high blood pressure or increased blood pressure at night may be more prone to vascular disease and memory problems related to damage to areas in the brain. The study was published in Neurology. The researchers said that these results provide more evidence of the effect of vascular problems on memory. By maintaining a healthy weight, staying physically active and having a healthy diet, the potential effects of hypertension can be effectively prevented.

5 Low-fiber diet causes hypertension

Recently, a study conducted by scientists at Monash University confirmed for the first time that a low-fiber diet may cause high blood pressure. The research was published in Circulation. Researchers used mouse models to test the difference between high-resistant starch and low-resistant starch diets. Resistant starch is a fibrous food that can resist digestion by the stomach and intestines until it reaches the large intestine and is absorbed by probiotics. It was found that mice fed a low-fiber diet were more likely to develop high blood pressure. Sterile mouse fecal transplant experiments show that changes in the intestinal microbial ecological environment caused by a low-fiber diet are the direct cause of hypertension.

6 Scientists hope to develop new therapies for hypertension by studying high salt tolerance

Scientists from Boston University School of Medicine have found that the key to treating high blood pressure may lie in people who can resist high blood pressure even if they eat high-salt foods. This research was published in Experimental Physiology. Some people’s blood pressure will soar after eating a high-salt diet, while some people are tolerant of salt and will not experience changes in blood pressure. One way to combat blood pressure is to simulate and study how these high-salt diet tolerant people avoid high blood pressure. Researchers have revealed how cells in special regions of the brain’s hypothalamus control the mechanism of salt tolerance. At the same time, they found special structural changes in these cells that may help change the body’s response to salt.

7 Gum disease is linked to higher risk of hypertension

According to a study recently published in Cardiovascular Research, patients with gum disease (periodontitis) are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure. Research results show that the more severe periodontitis, the higher the risk of hypertension. Patients with gum disease should be aware of their risk of high blood pressure and prevent it through regular exercise and healthy diet. Previous studies have shown a link between periodontitis and high blood pressure, and dental treatment may improve blood pressure, but so far, the results of the study have not been conclusive.

8 About 50% of the people with hypertension may not be aware of their disease

Recently, scientists from the University of Western Australia and other institutions discovered that in Australia, 50% of hypertensive patients may not realize that they are sick. The research was published in European Heart Journal Supplements. In this study, the researchers studied 3817 adults, of which 31.2% had high blood pressure, and only about half of them knew their condition. Researcher Markus Schlaich pointed out that although there are many effective treatments for hypertension, only half of individuals are aware of their condition and are treated, and only 60% of the treated population can have their blood pressure controlled.

9 Low-dose radiation increases the risk of hypertension

A study of Russian nuclear power plant workers showed that long-term exposure to low-dose ionizing radiation increases the risk of hypertension. The research was published in Hypertension. Early studies have linked high-dose radiation exposure to cardiovascular disease and increased risk of death from these diseases. This study found for the first time that workers who were exposed to low-dose radiation for a long time had an increased risk of hypertension. The study included more than 22,000 workers from the Mayak Production Association, Russia’s first large nuclear power company. These workers were hired between 1948 and 1982, and half of them worked there for more than a decade, and their average working time was 18 years.

10 It is expected to develop new targeted drugs to treat hypertension

Recently, scientists from the University of Tennessee Health Science Research Center have identified a key molecule in the blood pressure regulation process. By turning off the function of this molecule, the blood pressure of the mouse body can be effectively reduced. This research is published on eLife. This study puts an end to scientists’ uncertainty about the effect of this molecule on high blood pressure, and is expected to help develop new hypertension drugs. Blood pressure is partially controlled by the body’s blood vessel wall muscle cells, and these muscle cells carry special proteins called transient receptor potential (TRP) channels on the surface, which can promote the movement of sodium and calcium. There are about 13 different TRP channels in arterial muscle cells. At present, researchers do not know whether these channels control the body’s normal blood pressure or help promote the occurrence of high blood pressure.