Friday, May 15, 2009
Provocative new research suggests that a common virus might play a role in high blood pressure.
The work, by Harvard scientists, so far is only in mice and the usually symptomless infection is so widespread that proving an effect in people will be tough.
Still, it's the latest clue that infections may somehow affect a number of the factors that lead to heart disease, from stiffening arteries to obesity.
At issue is cytomegalovirus, or CMV. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says more than half of U.S. adults are infected by age 40. It's a lifelong infection but the vast majority will never even know they have it.
It's known that CMV can cause serious problems for select groups.