Smoking may increase the risk of developing hypertension by impairing the body’s blood pressure autocorrect system, warn researchers
“The human body has a buffering system that continuously monitors and maintains a healthy blood pressure. If blood pressure drops, a response called muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) is triggered to bring blood pressure back up to normal levels,” said Lawrence Sinoway from Penn State University in the US.
An additional system — called the baroreflex — helps correct if blood pressure gets too high, he added.
“We think that in smokers, that buffering — the baroreflex — is impaired.
“It’s possible that this higher response to MSNA could also contribute to the eventual development of hypertension,” Cui added.
The researchers said that while previous research has found a link between chronic smokers and higher levels of MSNA bursts, less was known about what happened to blood pressure after these bursts, Medical Daily reported.
For the study, the researchers examined 60 participants — 18 smokers and 42 non-smokers. None of the participants had hypertension