Prolonged Use of Blood Pressure Drugs May Cause Kidney Damage

According to recent research from the University of Virginia School of Medicine, U.S., long-term use of meds commonly prescribed to patients suffering from high blood pressure and heart failure is associated with a higher risk of kidney damage.Prolonged Use of Blood Pressure Drugs May Cause Kidney Damage

In this study, the researchers found that renin cells play an important role. These cells normally produce renin, a hormone that regulates blood pressure. But harmful changes in the renin cells can cause the cells to invade the walls of the kidney's blood vessels triggering a buildup of another cell type, smooth muscle cells leading to the thickening and stiffening of the vessels which results in the impaired blood flow through the kidney.

Study author Maria Luisa Sequeira Lopez MD, of UVA's Department of Pediatrics and Child Health Research Center, says: “Our studies show that renin-producing cells are responsible for the damage. We are now focusing on understanding how these cells, which are so important to defend us from drops in blood pressure and maintain our well-being, undergo such transformation and induce kidney damage.”

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