Reducing the Risk of CVD

AS Biology

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Controlling Blood Pressure

A change in lifestyle is recommended, but there are medications available

Three main types of drugs are used to treat high blood pressure:

ACE Inhibitors,

Calcium Channel Blockers,


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ACE Inhibitors

(angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors) 

effective antihypertensive drugs which reduce the synthesis of angiotensin II
It causes vasoconstriction of blood vessels to help control blood pressure.

ACE inhibitors prevent the hormone being produced from an inactive form, angiotensin I, therefore reducing vasoconstriction and lowering blood pressure. 

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Calcium Channel Blockers

They are antihypertensive drugs that block the calcium channels in the muscle cells in the lining of the arteries.

The muscle can only contract if calcium passes through these channels and into the muscle cells

Failure of calcium to enter the cell prevents contraction of the muscle, the blood vessels do not constrict, and this lowers blood pressure.

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They increase the volume of urine produced by the kidneys which rids the body of excess fluids and salt. 

This then leads to a decrease in blood plasma volume and cardiac output (volume expelled from the heart in a minute), which lowers blood pressure

e.g. Tea & Coffee

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