Scientists have identified a gene which can cause otherwise healthy adults to suffer from high blood pressure.
The Profilin one gene sets of a sequence of events in the blood vessels which makes conditions in the vessels ripe for blockages that can cause heart attacks, strokes and circulatory problems.
Researchers from the University of Ohio are hoping that the findings will lead to new therapeutic options for high blood pressure- especially that associated with aging.
During studies it was found that the gene causes the smoot muscle cells of blood vessels to swell, narrowing the channel through which blood flows and causing stress on the vessels walls.
This damages the lining of the walls and can lead to blockages.
By identifying this pathway researchers hope to target the most effective therapy to interfere with the disease process.
According to Bupa, approximately three in ten UK adults suffer from high blood pressure.
It is more common in the elderly, with seven in ten people aged over 70 suffering from it.
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