Virus causes high blood pressure?

Washington: A new research has suggested for the first time that a common virus is the cause of high blood pressure, a leading risk factor for heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.

A team of Chinese doctors has claimed that it has got strong evidence of a link between the human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), which infects people all over the world, and essential hypertension -- the most common form of high blood pressure, the `Circulation` journal reported.

"The findings demonstrate a novel link between HCMV infection and essential hypertension. These findings may reveal important insights into the pathogenesis of essential hypertension," say the doctors from Chaoyang Hospital.

A member of the herpes virus family, HCMV affects all age groups and is the source of congenital infection, and severe infection in transplant patients.

By 40 years, most adults will have contracted the virus, though many will never exhibit symptoms. Once it has entered the body, it is usually there to stay, remaining latent until
the immune system is compromised, when it then reemerges.

According to the doctors, the research will have widespread health implications as World Health Organisation says around a billion people worldwide suffer from high blood


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