Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

High levels of uric acid may be associated with high blood pressure

28.08.2008
Reducing levels of uric acid in blood lowered blood pressure to normal in most teens in a study designed to investigate a possible link between blood pressure and the chemical, a waste product of the body's normal metabolism, said researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in a report that appears in the current issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

"If you reduce uric acid, at least in some patients, you may be able to reduce blood pressure," said Dr. Daniel Feig, associate professor of pediatrics-renal at BCM and chief of the pediatric hypertension clinics at Texas Children's Hospital. "This could be one way people develop hypertension and may allow us to develop new therapies."

Understanding how people develop high blood pressure gives scientists new tools for understanding the disorder and developing drugs to prevent and treat it.

Uric acid builds up when the body makes too much of it or fails to excrete it. It is a waste product resulting from the metabolism of food. Too much uric acid can cause gout, which occurs when uric acid crystals accumulate in the joints. In this study, researchers used allopurinol to reduce high uric acid levels. Allopurinol is usually used to treat gout, but Feig said its potential side effects rule it out as a treatment for high blood pressure.

In the JAMA study, Feig and his colleagues treated teens with newly diagnosed high blood pressure and elevated levels of uric acid in their blood with allopurinol. In the study, half of the 30 teen-agers with newly diagnosed high blood pressure and higher than normal levels of uric acid in their blood underwent treatment with allopurinol twice a day for four weeks. The other half received a placebo (an inactive drug) on the same schedule. They then went without either drug for two weeks before receiving the opposite treatment for another four weeks.

The treatment not only reduced uric acid levels, it also reduced blood pressure in most of the teens, said Feig. In fact, he said, blood pressures decreased to normal in 20 of the 30 teens when they were on allopurinol. By contrast, only 1 of the 30 teens had normal blood pressure when receiving placebo.

"This is far from being a reasonable therapeutic intervention for high blood pressure, but these findings indicate a first step in understanding the pathway of the disease," said Feig. "You cannot prevent a disease until you know the cause. This study is way of finding that out."

Studies in rats had indicated previously that high levels of uric acid could be associated with the development of high blood pressure through a proven pathway, said Feig. However, he and his colleagues needed to determine if this was true for humans as well.

"The antihypertensive therapies available to patients are well proven and safe," said Feig. "Currently available antihyperuricemic therapies (treatments that lower uric acid) are not safe enough to be used as first line therapy for most people with high blood pressure."

Side effects could include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, liver problems and even a very rare, potentially life-threatening reaction known as Steven-Johnson syndrome. While only 1 in 3,000 people develop this problem, the risk is too great to prescribe the drug on a routine basis to people with high blood pressure, a problem that affects 30 to 35 percent of adults.

Currently available therapies are effective but are not solving the problem in everyone. Optimal blood pressures are achieved in only 40 percent of people who are treated for the problem. Understanding the cause of high blood pressure could lead to better treatments and even methods of prevention.

Animal studies indicate that early in the disease, the extra uric acid activates the renin angiotensin system of the body, shrinking key blood vessels and causing high blood pressure. Eventually, however, the small vessels in the kidney are permanently affected, making the blood pressure sensitive to salt or sodium. Too much salt causes the pressure to rise.

Glenna Picton | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.bcm.edu
http://www.jama.com
http://www.bcm.edu/fromthelab

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Nonstop Tranport of Cargo in Nanomachines
20.11.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für molekulare Zellbiologie und Genetik

nachricht Researchers find social cultures in chimpanzees
20.11.2018 | Universität Leipzig

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Nonstop Tranport of Cargo in Nanomachines

Max Planck researchers revel the nano-structure of molecular trains and the reason for smooth transport in cellular antennas.

Moving around, sensing the extracellular environment, and signaling to other cells are important for a cell to function properly. Responsible for those tasks...

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Optical Coherence Tomography: German-Japanese Research Alliance hosted Medical Imaging Conference

19.11.2018 | Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nonstop Tranport of Cargo in Nanomachines

20.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Researchers find social cultures in chimpanzees

20.11.2018 | Life Sciences

When AI and optoelectronics meet: Researchers take control of light properties

20.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>