• Kyodo

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A vaccine to prevent high blood pressure was found to be effective in a new mouse study, with effects lasting about six months, according to a team of researchers at Osaka University.

The study, led by Hiroshi Koriyama, was carried Wednesday in the online edition of the U.S. journal Hypertension.

“The results show we are moving closer to curing hypertension,” Koriyama said. “We want to start clinical trials of the vaccine on people in two or three years.”

Existing drug therapies for hypertension require patients to take drugs daily, meaning that patients who fail to take them run the risk of higher blood pressure, possibly leading to a stroke or heart attack.

The vaccine, if proven effective on humans, could reduce the burden on the patients by requiring shots only once or twice a year, according to the researchers.

DNA vaccines made up of a substance called angiotensin II (Ang II), which work to raise blood pressure, were injected into a group of mice. An anti-Ang II antibody was successfully produced in the group, and the antibody response was sustained for at least six months, according to the study.

The blood pressure levels were also lower in the mice group by about 20 percent for at least six months, compared with those among mice in the control group, the study said.

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