A study by Swiss researchers has found that a hypertension vaccine could be an important alternative to conventional drug therapy.
Lead author Dr. Juerg Nussberger of the University Hospital of the Canton of Vaud in Lausanne, Switzerland, says the vaccine targets angiotensin II, a molecule that constricts blood vessels and raises blood pressure. Angiotensin II is already the indirect target of several blood pressure medications.
To assess the antibody response and identify an effective dose of the vaccine, 72 patients with mild-to-moderate high blood pressure were injected with either 100 micrograms, 300 micrograms of the vaccine or a placebo.
Patients who received the vaccine had a strong antibody response against angiotensin II, which was significantly higher in those receiving the higher dose.
Compared with patients who received a placebo, those who were injected with 300mg of vaccine significantly reduced their daytime systolic blood pressure by 5.6 millimeters of mercury and their diastolic blood pressure by 2.8 mm Hg.