The very long standing debate on the causes of high blood pressure has another piece of evidence to add to the pile. Scientists at the Norwegian University of Life Science believe that arterial stiffening explains 90% of high blood pressure.
Apparently the cause of most cases of hypertension isn’t know. Just 10% have been explained. So the search is on to explain the rest. Klas Pettersen and his colleagues used the best data they could find to produce computer models of how the major blood vessels stiffen with age.
Their models neatly explain the details we know so far. They go further to suggest that the body doesn’t blood pressure directly as currently though. Instead they believe it measures the strain on blood vessels which is the deformation of their walls under pressure.
A fascinating insight if it’s true. It certainly fits with the concept that we generally lose our fitness as we age. Fitter people have more pliable blood vessels because to get fit they force their body to shift large amounts of blood to places where it’s needed. That’s what exercise does. It forces the body to work properly.
In this automated age fewer and fewer people do the exercise that previous generations did. Exercise is no longer a core part of our ecosystem. So it can’t do what it’s supposed to. Thus we see more and more people with bodies that aren’t doing what they’re supposed to do.
Obviously this is a theory with evidence. Not a proof. But it certainly fits much of the wider evidence.