High Blood Pressure Clinical Trials
High blood pressure clinical trials are designed to test medication that is meant to treat high blood pressure. The type of medication tested will vary greatly, primarily depending on the causes of the existing high blood pressure. To understand high blood pressure, it is useful to look first at the applicable terminology and root causes. High blood pressure is also known as hypertension. High blood pressure clinical trials may also be listed under alternative names such as hypertension trials or by company and/or medication name.
Hypertension is a prevalent subject for medical research because it can lead to a host of other problems, from stroke and heart disease to aneurysms and kidney failure. Your entire body is one pressurized system that is remarkably sensitive to changes in internal and external pressure. Most people never notice the sensitivity to external pressure changes because the difference in atmospheric pressure between sea level and a mountaintop is minute. Scuba diving is the only form of terrestrial activity that exposes the human body to a pressure range outside of the norm of 1 atmosphere. Diving greatly raises the pressure. The opposite extreme is space exploration, which takes place in next to no pressure at all. Either extreme in external pressure is dangerous to our health.
However, far more insidious are changes in internal body pressure. Nearly all of our bodily systems, from our muscles to the cardiovascular and digestive systems operate under pressurized conditions. Changes in the pressure of one system trickle over into the other systems. Hypertension causing heart failure is easy to understand. Hypertension causing brain and kidney failure is a bit more nuanced. The way hypertension works has been researched thoroughly through high blood pressure clinical trials and other clinical trials. Hypertension is literally your blood exerting excessive pressure against your arterial walls. This can manifest itself anywhere your blood interfaces with the other bodily systems. In skeletal muscle there is porous tissue that can handle an influx of blood. However, when your blood reaches other organs, such as the brain, there is no such dead space for excess blood to go. Your brain is a tightly packed delicate neural network, and a release of excess blood pressure into the brain is akin to blasting an art exhibit with a fire hose. The results of an aneurysm or stroke are predictably messy, if the patient even survives. With risks like this associated with hypertension, it is little wonder that there is so much invested into high blood pressure clinical trials. What is surprising is that for a disease as potentially devastating as high blood pressure, most of the recorded cases do not have a known root cause.
Obesity and diabetes have both been shown to increase a person’s risk for hypertension, and yet more than eighty percent of cases of the disease are not assigned a cause. This is because for every fact we have been able to pin down about high blood pressure, there are five unanswered questions which would save lives. This is what makes high blood pressure clinical trials and other hypertension research such an important area for research dollars. The high population impact and number of answered questions involved both make it a responsible research choice.