A small device inserted into a patient's groin could significantly reduce blood pressure and hypertension, a study published in The Lancet has found.
The study, performed by researchers at Queen Mary University in London, evaluated 83 patients with high blood pressure. Of this group, 44 were implanted with the device. The researchers recorded an immediate drop in blood pressure in those who received the implant compared with those who did not.
However, the study also noted that 29 per cent who were given the device developed swelling in their leg. This required a stent to be implanted to resolve the swelling.
Dr Melvin Lobo, director of the blood pressure clinic at Barts Health NHS Trust and the study's lead author, said: 'The device effectively targets the mechanical aspects of how blood circulation works – so it is a totally new approach to controlling blood pressure. Once the device is placed, the results are also immediate, which again is unique to this treatment.'
The device, called a 'coupler', is roughly the size of a paper clip, and is inserted between the artery and vein in the upper thigh. The implantation takes approximately 40 minutes using local anaesthetic.
Katharine Jenner, chief executive of charity Blood Pressure UK, said: 'It is great to see new advances in blood pressure treatment being explored. Blood pressure is the second biggest killer in the UK. Millions of people are currently walking around with uncontrolled blood pressure, putting them at risk of strokes and heart attacks.'