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For the first time, a strong link has been established between high blood pressure and the most common heart valve disorder in high-income countries, by new research from The George Institute for Global Health at the University of Oxford.

High blood pressure linked to common heart valve disorder.jpg

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The study, published in the journal PLOS Medicine, followed 5.5 million adults in the UK over 10 years. It found that higher blood pressure in early life was associated with a significantly greater future risk of mitral regurgitation, a condition which makes the heart less efficient at pumping blood around the body, and in severe cases can lead to heart failure.

'Our research suggests this common and disabling valve disorder is not an inevitable consequence of ageing, as previously assumed, but may be preventable,' said Professor Kazem Rahimi, lead author of the study and deputy director of The George Institute UK.

Read more (University of Oxford website)