High blood pressure: How obesity can increase your risk of hypertension


Scientists have discovered why obesity causes high blood pressure, and the protein it affects to do this. Could this lead to a more effective anti-hypertensive drug that may bring down readings without having to lose weight? Dr Swapnil K. Sonkusare said: “Our study identifies the cellular mechanisms that increase blood pressure in obesity.” Based at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, Dr Sonkusare and his colleagues proclaimed the importance of a TRPV4 protein.

Small arteries are said to be play a part in blood pressure control, and the endothelial cells line these small arteries.

The TRPV4 protein are found on the membranes surrounding endothelial cells which allow calcium to enter the cells; this helps to maintain normal blood pressure.

However, obesity affects the TRPV4 protein, lowering calcium entry into the cells.

“Without the proper amount of calcium, blood pressure goes up,” explained the researchers.

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He continued: “We, for the first time, identify peroxynitrite as the precise oxidant molecule that increases blood pressure in obesity.

“The next step would be to design drugs that specifically target peroxynitrite and provide therapeutic benefit.”

As research unfolds in this new area of development, it would be beneficial for everyone’s health to maintain a healthy weight.

The NHS warned of health risks associated with obesity, which include:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Cancers
  • Stroke

Women with a waist measure of 80cm or more are at risk of obesity-related health problems.

Men with a waist measure of 94cm or more are at risk of obesity-related health problems.

Obesity is caused by consuming more calories than you burn off through physical activity.

This is why the best way to lose weight is to restrict your calorie intake and to exercise more.



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