Surgery that kills nerves in the kidney also lowers blood pressure

A new study into high blood pressure has revealed that surgery that targets specific nerves in the kidney can significantly lower blood pressure in people whose hypertension is unable to be controlled by regular medication. The treatment destroys certain nerves but also has the effect of causing crucial arteries to become permanently relaxed.
The research involved 52 patients with an average blood pressure of 178/96 who were taking five different drugs for hypertension. Their blood pressures were reduced by 32/12, with a control group of 54 patients who took only the drugs exhibiting no changes. High blood pressure is defined as a pressure of 140/90 millimeters of mercury or higher, and effects an estimated 1 billion people around the world, and is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke .
The new study is intended to benefit the 15 per cent of people with high blood pressure cannot control it, even though they are taking three or more medications. The treatment also helps to improve the control of blood sugar levels, which means it has benefits for those suffering from diabetes .
The findings were announced at a meeting of the American Heart Association and online in the journal Lancet, with no major damage found from the surgery and no significant side effects . It is hoped that a larger trial of the procedure will begin next year.

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