CMV – hypertension – all the buzz

The new story about the possible link between CMV virus and hypertension has caught on like wildfire on internet world.


WASHINGTON – Provocative new research suggests that a common virus might play a role in high blood pressure.

The work, by Harvard scientists, so far is only in mice – and the usually symptomless infection is so widespread that proving an effect in people will be tough.

Still, it’s the latest clue that infections may somehow affect a number of the factors that lead to heart disease, from stiffening arteries to obesity.

“There’s likely to be considerable skepticism about this in the medical profession,” acknowledged lead researcher Dr. Clyde Crumpacker, an infectious disease specialist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

But, “what we would postulate is yes, there can be persistent infection of blood vessels that could be leading to high blood pressure.”

At issue is cytomegalovirus, or CMV. More than half of U.S. adults are infected by age 40, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It’s a lifelong infection but the vast majority will never even know they have it. ……


Almost one in three adult Americans, or 72 million people, and almost one billion people worldwide have high blood pressure. It’s a leading cause of heart disease and strokes.

Poor diet and lack of exercise are key risk factors, but doctors don’t understand all of the underlying triggers of hypertension – including why some couch potatoes never get it and some thin, fit people do.

“It’s an intriguing report” that calls for more research into the possible effect, said Dr. Cheryl L. McDonald of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, which funded the work.

But she cautioned that any human testing would be years away.


I wouldn’t get your hopes up about the CMV – hypertension connection as it’s largely based conjecture.

The best way to combat high blood pressure is to lead a healthy lifestyle including diet and exercise.


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