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New discovery could help treat high blood pressure patients - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

New discovery could help treat high blood pressure patients

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LONDON -

Paul Bowers-Isaacson didn't know he had high blood pressure until he suffered a heart attack 18 years ago.

Now, scientists from Queen Mary University have made a discovery that could help patients like Bowers-Isaacson. A team of researchers studied 150,000 patients and found 107 new gene "regions" associated with high blood pressure.

"These 107 new gene regions may help us to tailor and select treatment in the future, but also, they identify the possibilities of us bring new treatments to bear from existing therapies," said Mark Caulifield, Queen Mary University author.

Researchers say their findings may help predict who will eventually develop hypertension.

Reporter: This is really a matter of early detection, early prevention? 

Caulfield: Exactly. It's about understanding what the genetic makeup could contribute to our life choices.

Bowers-Isaacson says he hopes the new research will identify others who are at risk so they don't go through what he did.

"Had I had a blood test and the doctor had actually said, 'Look, you've got this and this and this and this, and we know what the effect of that is,' I'd probably do as I was told," said Bowers-Isaacson said.

In the years since his heart attack, Bowers-Isaacson has made major lifestyle changes: eating healthier, losing weight and exercising.

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