Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hypertension Drug Effective At Preventing Atherosclerosis

Date:
April 13, 2000
Source:
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Summary:
Blocking the hormone that causes high blood pressure can reduce the development of heart vessel disease, report researchers from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in this week's issue of Circulation. The research team found that the hypertension drug Losartan reduced by half the buildup of fatty deposits in the heart vessels of monkeys fed a high-fat diet.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (April 3) -- Blocking the hormone that causes high blood pressure can reduce the development of heart vessel disease, report researchers from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in this week's issue of Circulation. The research team found that the hypertension drug Losartan reduced by half the buildup of fatty deposits in the heart vessels of monkeys fed a high-fat diet. The drug works by blocking angiotensin II, a hormone that causes high blood pressure and in recent years has been suspected as a cause of blood vessel disease.

"Evidence is mounting that there is a basic hormonal mechanism that causes the various facets of cardiovascular disease," said Carlos Ferrario, M.D., director of the Hypertension and Vascular Disease Center.

"The results imply that in order to prevent plaque buildup in vessels, we may need to treat not only cholesterol, but to treat the hormone linked to hypertension," said Ferrario. "Cholesterol-lowering drugs prevent heart attacks in only about 30 percent of people who take them. Perhaps we could improve those statistics by also treating angiotensin II."

The study used cynomolgus monkeys that didn't have high blood pressure. The monkeys, which have marked similarities to humans in the development of cardiovascular disease, were fed a high-fat diet that raised their cholesterol levels to about 300. From previous studies, the researchers knew that fatty streaks, the first sign of vessel disease, begin to form after 18 weeks on the diet. At 12 weeks, half of the monkeys received Losartan for six weeks. After 20 weeks on the diet, the researchers found that fatty streak development was reduced by 50 percent in the monkeys that received Losartan. There were no changes in cholesterol or blood pressure levels that could have accounted for the difference.

"What we have is further evidence that angiotensin II is involved in the initiation of atherosclerosis," said William Strawn, D.V.M, Ph.D., the article's lead author. "It appears that the hormone is actually a risk factor for developing blood vessel disease."

Researchers believe Losartan's effect was caused by the drug's ability to protect low-density lipoproteins, the so-called "bad" cholesterol, from oxidization. Oxidation increases the toxic effect of cholesterol on arteries. "These drugs are obviously more than hypertensive agents," said Ferrario. "The results suggest that treating hypertensive patients with drugs to block the actions of angiotensin II will slow down or prevent the development of atherosclerosis."

Ferrario said it is too early to recommend that non-hypertensive patients be treated with Losartan. He predicted, however, that future treatments for patients with high cholesterol and other risk factors for heart attack might include both lipid-lowering and anti-hypertensive drugs. He called for additional research to duplicate the findings in humans and to understand the mechanisms that cause hypertension and atherosclerosis.

Other members of the research team were Mark C. Chappell, Ph.D., and Richard H. Dean, M.D., from the Medical Center and Salah Kivlighn, Ph.D., from Merck & Co., which manufactures Losartan and funded the research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. "Hypertension Drug Effective At Preventing Atherosclerosis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 April 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/04/000410091442.htm>.
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. (2000, April 13). Hypertension Drug Effective At Preventing Atherosclerosis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/04/000410091442.htm
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. "Hypertension Drug Effective At Preventing Atherosclerosis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/04/000410091442.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins