Friday, September 09, 2011

Why People Have Hypertension?

Hypertension, more commonly known as high blood pressure, could lead to hardening of arteries (atherosclerosis) and development of heart failure. That is why it has long been regarded as a major risk factor for heart disease. According to World Health Organization (WHO), around a billion people worldwide, including more than 200 million Chinese, suffer from hypertension.

When the cause of hypertension can be identified, the condition is called secondary hypertension. Kidney disease is the highest risk factor for this type of hypertension. For majority of the hypertensive patients, the causes are not known, though several factors including smoking, high salt intake, stress, sedentary lifestyle, overweight or obese, high alcohol consumption, aging and genetics are believed to play an important role. This kind of hypertension is known as essential hypertension.

Recently, researchers from Beijing Chaoyang Hospital’s Cardiology Center identified a common virus known as human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) that could be responsible for causing hypertension. HCMV infects most adults but is repressed by the body’s immune system and rarely causes any symptoms. Their findings, which linked HCMV to essential hypertension, were published in August 2011 in the medical journal ‘Circulation’.

Such findings might present a new strategy for preventing and treating cardiovascular disease. However, the researchers pointed out that their research was still in its early stage and more tests with a wider scope of patients should be carried out. Once conclusive evidence of the relationship is obtained, better medical vaccines and remedies for hypertension could then be made available to treat millions of patients around the world.

Another recent study conducted by the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans found that hypertension plays a part in 2.3 million cardiovascular deaths in China each year. Among these victims, 1.3 million were premature deaths. This means that victims died before the age of 72 in men and 75 in women, the average lifespan in China in 2005.

1 comment:

  1. It is an interesting study about hypertension. Thanks for sharing this information.