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Science Briefing

Uric acid linked to hypertension

August 30, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Reducing levels of uric acid in the blood with allopurinol, a drug used to treat gout, lowered blood pressure to normal in teenagers, Texas researchers reported Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn.

The drug will probably not prove to be a good therapy for hypertension because of its side effects, the researchers said, but the finding provides new insight into the causes of the disorder, showing a role for uric acid for the first time.

Studies in animals suggest that excess uric acid triggers the renin angiotensin system, shrinking key blood vessels and thereby increasing blood pressure.

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