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High Blood Pressure Linked to Body Clock

Circadian clock possible key to better treatment of hypertension
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 14, 2009 8:49 AM CST
High Blood Pressure Linked to Body Clock
Genes influencing high blood pressure may be ruled by the body's circadian clock.   (Shutter Stock)

(Newser) – Add high blood pressure to the long list of heightened risk factors for night shift workers, long-distance flight crews, and others with disturbances in the body's 24-hour clock. In findings with implications for treatment of hypertension, Japanese researchers working on mice have shown that the circadian clock directly controls a blood-pressure-related gene that humans also have, BBC reports.

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The researcher found that the circadian clock controls a gene that determines levels of a hormone that, when produced in excess, causes water retention in the kidneys, and thus high blood pressure. "Hypertension is common," an expert says, "but the genes controlling blood pressure are not well understood. Their identification will help design better treatments for high blood pressure." (Read more hypertension stories.)

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