Washington: A team of researchers has discovered the link between obesity and hypertension.
In a ground-breaking study, researchers from Monash University in Australia, Warwick, Cambridge in the UK and several American universities found that the hormone leptin, which is secreted by fat cells that is significantly elevated following weight gain and in obesity, acts in the brain to elevate blood pressure.
These studies, involve both animal and human experiments, including a unique cohort of patients lacking the hormone leptin or lacking the leptin receptor.
Results demonstrated that both blocking leptin from producing its actions in the brain and removal of the leptin receptors, from the brain were effective at for the reducing obesity induced hypertension.
As much as 80 percent of common hypertension is caused by excess body fat, and this study for the first time describes the mechanism by which obesity elevates blood pressure, and opens up new approaches to treat obesity induced high blood pressure.
Researcher Michael Cowley said that this study shows that a hormone secreted by fat (leptin) increases blood pressure, and explains the mechanism of the known link between obesity and high blood pressure.
Cowley added that their data suggest that pharmacological approaches based on altering the effect of leptin in the dorsomedial hypothalamic region of the brain, could potentially represent a therapeutic target for the treatment of obesity induced hypertension and potentially could be exploited to alleviate the incidence of obesity induced cardiovascular diseases.
The study is published in the journal Cell (embargo midday EST).