Hypertension Medications Linked to Increased Incidence of Heart Failure

Sep, 2021 - By SMI

Hypertension Medications Linked to Increased Incidence of Heart Failure

The prevalence of hypertension is increasing across the world and the condition is expected to affect around 1.56 billion individuals by 2025.

According to the new study by the research team from Penn State University, the most widely used medications, named L-type calcium channel blockers (LCCBs) for treating high blood pressure may harm the heart. The researchers found that in human and mice cells in vitro, LCCBs cause changes in blood vessels that increase pressure and reduce blood flow. Inspecting epidemiological data, the team found that L-type blockers are linked to a higher risk of heart failure. Moreover, the researchers suggest that health professionals should take care while prescribing these medicines to individuals, especially for those with advanced hypertension and older adults.

Hypertension (also known as high blood pressure) is a long-term medical condition in which arterial blood pressure is constantly elevated. According to Prof. Mohamed Trebak, Penn State University, around 100 million or half of all adults in the United States have hypertension and the prevalence of hypertension is increasing across the world. Moreover, the condition is expected to affect around 1.56 billion individuals by 2025. LCCBs are widely used to treat hypertension, yet the team found that these medicines can cause the same damage that is intended to prevent them.

The researchers report that vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) form blood vessel walls, where they help regulate blood flow by contracting and relaxing the vessels. This activity is controlled by the calcium concentration within the cells. VSMCs have several calcium-permeable channels to control this concentration. These channels allow calcium to enter the VSMCs, triggering cells to undergo physiological changes. Due to these changes, the blood vessel walls become thick and hard and blood pressure starts to rise. Moreover, the researchers found that incidences of heart failure were considerably higher in patients treated with LCCB than patients treated with other medications.

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