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Vaccine Could One Day Control High Blood Pressure
Date:3/6/2008

r dose of vaccine had a drop in their systolic blood pressure of 9 mm Hg and a 4 mm Hg drop in their diastolic blood pressure. The blood pressure drop was particularly significant in the early morning, where patients showed a 25 mm Hg drop in systolic blood pressure and a 13 mm Hg drop in diastolic blood pressure, compared with patients receiving a placebo.

Overall, the vaccine was well tolerated, with only 10 patients reporting flu-like symptoms after the injection. Such reactions are common with several vaccines, the researchers noted. In addition, some patients experienced mild irritation at the injection site.

The study results are published in the March 8 issue of The Lancet.

More extensive testing is needed before the vaccine could be made available to the public, Bachmann said. "We are moving on to eventually large trials," he said.

One expert thinks this finding could be a breakthrough in helping patients control their blood pressure.

"Poorly controlled blood pressure remains a worldwide health-care problem and contributes greatly to heart attacks, strokes, and cardiovascular deaths," said Dr. Gregg C. Fonarow, a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Although there are lifestyle modifications and a number of effective and reasonably well-tolerated medications that can help control blood pressure, many patients don't adhere to their regimens in a way that works effectively, Fonarow said. "A vaccinate for controlling blood pressure, if proven to be safe and effective, could represent an important therapeutic advance," he said.

This study is the first to show promising data with a vaccine against angiotensin II, a potent constrictor of blood vessels, in patients with mild to moderate hypertension, Fonarow said.

"While further studies for safety and efficacy, including ones that are larger and follow patients longer, are clearly necessar
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