We are all familiar with that much-courted adrenaline rush. But did you know the adrenal glands that produce it also have an effect on your blood pressure? In fact, a study found that excess aldosterone, a hormone produced by your adrenal glands, is a common and unrecognized reason for high blood pressure.
The aldosterone hormone is responsible for sodium conservation in the kidney, salivary glands, sweat glands and colon. Its excess production causes high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease–and this condition is called aldosteronism.
How did the research start?
A cross-sectional study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggested that the hormone aldosterone is a common and unrecognised cause of hypertension.
To understand the impact of aldosterone hormone on our blood pressure, researchers from four academic medical centres (including Brigham and Women’s Hospital, University of Alabama, University of Virginia, and the University of Utah in the US) studied various patients.
This included patients with normotension (blood pressure that is within the normal range), stage 1 hypertension, stage 2 hypertension, and resistant hypertension to examine the existence of excess aldosterone production and primary condition of aldosteronism.
What were the findings post-research?
The researchers state: “Primary aldosteronism has traditionally been considered to be an uncommon cause of hypertension, however, the findings of this study show that it is much more common than previously recognised.”
Excess aldosterone production would not have been recognised by currently-recommended diagnostic approaches. This research helped them redefine the label around primary aldosteronism from a rare disease to a common syndrome since this common syndrome actually impacts the severity of blood pressure
Although generic medications that block the deleterious effects of aldosterone already exist and are easily available, these findings suggest that using these drugs more frequently shall be effective. This shall help to treat hypertension and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
(With inputs from IANS)