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Hypertension Workshop (BPS)

Last week I attended the British Pharmacological Society workshop on Hypertension.  This was a fantastic meeting with a great line-up of speakers.

Prof. Tom McDonald gavea very polished talk on the epidemiology of hypertension.  Prof McDonald reminded us that for every 1kg of weight we gain our blood pressure goes up by 1mmHg.  The cure for hypertension is therefore not to weigh yourself 🙂  Anyway, in one school of thought we are ALL hypertensive!

Does it matter how we measure blood pressure?  Prof John Potter says yes and presented some interesting data regarding the various devices that are available.

Next, Dr Ian Wilkinson posed the question; Does it matter where we measure blood pressure?  Basically, yes it does and dont believe what the technology tells you.  It might be better to do it at home over an extended period of time and then average the results.  A one off measurement by your GP is not that reliable.

Dr Rupert Payne told us about the risks of contracting a cardiovascular disease.  Bottom line – if you live long enough you WILL get a cardiovascular disease.  At age 65 you have 20% chance of developing a cardiovascular disease.

Dugs to treat Hypertension.  Prof. Simon Maxwell cast a bit (maybe a lot) of doubt on various clinical trials.  One problem is that patients tend to be rather old and have quite advanced hypertension.  The studies tend to be a bit too short.

‘There is no such thing as hypertension’.  As ever, Prof. Gordon McInnes likes to stir things up a bit and after listening to his argument that high blood pressure means nothing more than ‘higher risk of cardiovascular problems’, I think I agree.

Prof Morris Brown told us about Renin profiling and combination therapy.  It seems that for hypertension treatment, 2 drugs are better than 1.

We are all in a randomised clinical trial of the function of SNPs!  Dr Aroon Hingorani gave the best genetics talk I’ve ever heard.  I’m pretty convinced that hypertension is written in your genes.

 Fantastic meeting so full marks to the organisers