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Antihypertensives can cause kidney damage if they’re taken long enough

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High blood pressure (hypertension) drugs such as ACE inhibitors can cause kidney damage if they’re taken for a long time.

Doctors have for years been reporting kidney problems in patients taking the drugs—and the adverse reaction is common in patients who have chronic, and dangerous, hypertension, say researchers from the University of Virginia Health System, who have studied the drugs’ mechanism.

They have discovered the drugs trigger the creation of smooth muscle cells which, in turn, cause blood vessels in the kidneys to thicken and harden, which stops blood flowing freely through the organ.

The problem is more common in people who have taken the drugs over a long period, the researchers found.

(Source: JCI Insight, 2021; 6; doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.154337)

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