Hypertension increases the risk of valvulopathy

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Corresponding to a hyperpressure of the blood on the walls of the arteries, arterial hypertension (hypertension) is a silent disease that exposes to a greater risk of cardiovascular accidents. Involved: maximum pressure when blood is expelled into the arteries, which eventually causes stiffening and premature aging of the arterial walls.

Myocardial infarction, stroke and kidney failure can be caused by high blood pressure, but also, according to a new study published in the journal Cardiology JAMA, valvular heart disease.

"Some previous studies suggested that arterial hypertension was associated with an increased risk of heart valve disease, but it was not clear whether the observed associations were causal," says Milad Nazarzadeh, researcher at the George Institute for Global Health in the Kingdom. Kingdom. and co-author of this new research. "This study, which complements our previous work, provides the best evidence to date for this causal association and confirms that hypertension greatly increases the risk of major valvular disease (including aortic stenosis, regurgitation aortic and mitral valve disease). ".

A risk multiplied by three

To reach this conclusion, the researchers used a very precise method based on genes called Mendelian randomization: from birth, we all have genes known to be associated or not associated with arterial hypertension. To examine the association between systolic blood pressure and major valvular disease risk, the authors of the study analyzed data from the British Biobank: 329,237 men and women aged between 40 and 96 years 2010.

They found that 3,570 people (1.08% of the sample) were diagnosed with valvular heart disease: 0.45% had aortic stenosis, 0.19% with aortic regurgitation and 0, 53% for mitral regurgitation.

According to the authors, every 20 mmHg increase in systolic pressure is equivalent to an increase of about three times the probability of developing an aortic stenosis. This occurs when the valve that controls the way the blood is pumped from the heart to the main artery does not open completely.

This model of association has also been observed for aortic regurgitation and mitral regurgitation, the other two main cardiac valve diseases.

Patients with heart valve disease may present with a variety of symptoms, including irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, fatigue, fainting and dizziness.

For the researchers, these results highlight the importance of controlling high blood pressure as soon as possible, to limit the time during which individuals are exposed to the disease in order to avoid valvular diseases. "This study emphasizes that high blood pressure should be considered as an important risk factor, as well as heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular diseases," said Milad Nazarzadeh.

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