An article published online in The Lancet today and featured in the Huffington Post shows evidence that a process called denervation of nerves near the kidneys can radically lower blood pressure for people with very high, uncontrolled blood pressure. In a procedure like the ones used to detect coronary blockages, insert stents, and stop atrial fibrillation, researchers inserted a catheter into the artery near the groin and used radio waves to deaden some of the nerves in the kidney region. The stimulation of these nerves plays a key role in the development of high blood pressure.
The researchers randomly assigned 106 patients to an intervention group or a control group. All patients had systolic blood pressure of 160 mm Hg or higher or, if they had diabetes, 150 mm Hg. They were all taking multiple medication for their high blood pressure but not achieving any success in lower it. After six months, 84% of those in the intervention group had reduced their systolic blood pressure by at least 10 mm Hg compared with only 35% of the patients in the control group.
The researchers therefore conclude that denervation works to lower medication-resistant high blood pressure.
Welcome to the Take the Pressure Down blog. We’re aiming to supplement the HSF blood pressure web tools with information about the latest on research into and prevention and management of high blood pressure.
Over the past year, more than 5,000 British Columbians have taken the test – the Heart and Stroke Risk Assessment. We hope more of you will check it out.Here’s why.
In October, the World Health Organization said that high blood pressure is the number one risk factor for mortality in the world. The Global Health Risks report looks at the top 20 risk factors for death around the world. Disease related to high blood pressure accounts for 12.8% of all mortality In high income countries like Canada, that number goes up to 16.8%. But even in the poorest countries, most of which are in Africa, high blood pressure is a close (and growing) number two to childhood underweight as as a risk factor. Globally, cardiovascular risk factors (excluding tobacco use) are responsible for one third of all deaths.