Risk factors associated with age-related disease and mortality tend to also associate with higher medical costs. Obesity, for example, both shortens life span and increases lifetime medical costs thanks to the impact it has on health. High blood pressure, the condition known as hypertension, is another measure that reliably predicts a higher risk of mortality and poor health in later life. Here researchers run the numbers to show that it also results in higher medical costs, much as expected.
Hypertension isn’t too far removed from the root causes of aging. High blood pressure is a direct result of arterial stiffening, as that detrimental change disrupts the finely tuned feedback mechanisms that balance blood pressure. Stiffening of blood vessels is caused by a mixed bag of mechanisms from the SENS rejuvenation research portfolio, such as cross-linking of the extracellular matrix in blood vessel walls, and the presence of senescent cells producing inflammation that both encourages calcification and disrupts the function of the smooth muscle responsible for dilation and contraction of blood vessels.
Raised blood pressure harms sensitive tissue structures such as those