High blood pressure linked to virus?
A new study suggests for the first time that cytomegalovirus (CMV), a common viral infection affecting between 60 and 99 percent of adults worldwide, is a cause of high blood pressure.
Led by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and published in today's issue of PLoS Pathogens, the findings also show that in conjunction with other risk factors the virus can lead to the development of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.
"CMV infects humans commonly all over the world," says senior author Clyde Crumpacker, MD, an investigator in the Division of Infectious Diseases at BIDMC and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. "This new discovery may eventually provide doctors with a whole new approach to treating hypertension, with anti-viral therapies or vaccines becoming part of the prescription."
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