- Treatments for high blood pressure cannot reverse its damaging effects on the vascular rhythms
- Hypertension is the major risk factor for stroke, heart disease, and kidney failure
- Current anti-hypertensive treatments do not restore microvascular function, but can successfully control blood pressure
High blood pressure treatments do not entirely reverse its damaging effects on the vascular rhythms, which help in circulation of the blood, reveals a new study.
Hypertension affects about 40 percent of individuals who are above 25 years of age and is found to be the major risk factor for stroke, heart disease, and kidney failure, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Conventional medicine reduced high blood pressure and normal vascular rhythms were restored only in the largest blood vessels and not in the smallest ones, revealed a group of interdisciplinary scientists from Lancaster University
The research team based on a networks physiology approach compared a group who were in their twenties and two older groups who were around 70 years, of which one group had no history of hypertension and the other group were on medications for high blood pressure.
Anti-hypertensive Treatments Do Not restore Microvascular Function
In the older group, who were taking medications for high blood pressure, the normal function has been restored at the level of arterioles and larger vessels.
The research team found differences among both the groups when investigating the nonlinear dynamical properties of the smallest blood vessels present in the body.
"Specifically, current hypertensive treatment did not fully restore the coherence or the strength of coupling between oscillations in the heart rate, respiration, and vascular rhythms (vasomotion)," said Aneta Stefanovska, which were thought to be most significant and adaptive behavior of the cardiovascular system.
The progressive physiological weakening is one aspect of aging that weakens these links, which can reactivate and make the cardiovascular system functioning.
The results have confirmed the previous studies of progressive impairment with age, the mechanisms of coordination between cardiac and microvascular activity. However, for the first time, these effects are exacerbated in hypertension, revealed the research team.
Prof. Aneta Stefanovska said, "Current antihypertensive treatment is evidently unable to correct this dysfunction. Our novel multiscale analysis methods could help in optimising future drug developments that would benefit from taking microvascular function into account."
What is High Blood Pressure?
Hypertension or High blood pressure is a chronic condition and once developed lasts for a lifetime. Hypertension is a 'silent killer disease, ' and it often presents without any signs and symptoms.
Hypertension is defined as the force of blood against the walls of the arteries when the heart pumps blood throughout the body. Every time the heart beats, it pumps the blood into the arteries.
Blood pressure levels are measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). A sphygmomanometer is a device used to measure the blood pressure.
The standard recommended blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg. If the blood pressure measurement is in the range of 120/80 mmHg and 140/90 mmHg; and is termed as 'pre-hypertension.' If hypertension is left untreated, it can lead to heart disease risk, stroke, kidney failure and eye damage.
- Valentina Ticcinelli, Tomislav Stankovski1, Dmytro Iatsenko, et al. Coherence and Coupling Functions Reveal Microvascular Impairment in Treated Hypertension. Frontiers in Physiology (2017).