High Pressure: Causes of Hypertension

High blood pressure significantly increases the risk of stroke or heart attack. There are several different mechanisms responsible for the occurrence of hypertension, but in 90% of cases it is not possible to find the “culprit”. Doctors agree that some factors - old age, genetic predisposition, a sedentary lifestyle, etc. - increase the risk of high blood pressure, but the mechanism of hypertension still remains a subject of controversy.

A group of Norwegian scientists, led by Klas Pettersen (Klas Pettersen) claims to have solved this mystery.

Blood pressure is usually defined as the ratio of systolic and diastolic pressure. The first occurs at the moment when the heart pumps blood into the circulatory system, the second - when the blood again enters the heart. In most people, systolic pressure rises throughout life, while diastolic pressure remains stable or even decreases. As a result, many people over 50 suffer from increased pulse pressure.

For the regulation of blood pressure are responsible baroreceptors - biological "pressure sensors" located in the walls of blood vessels. With an increase in pressure, the baroreceptor reflex causes corresponding changes in the body - for example, it reduces the volume of fluid in the blood vessels. Why does this system fail with age?

The Pettersen group suggested that baroreceptors do not measure pressure directly, but the degree of stretching of the walls of blood vessels that lose elasticity during the natural aging process. The computer model in which the proposed mechanism of baroreceptor work was laid showed exactly this picture of age-related hypertension, which is observed in world practice.

Therefore, it is likely that the only problem for people suffering from high blood pressure is vascular stiffness, and the regulatory system itself is working properly. This allows you to determine the goal of therapy - the walls of the vessels. Another question is what methods can restore their elasticity.

According to MIT Technology Review

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