Fibre bound

A FIBROUS protein that gives skin and organs their strength may be responsible for organ failure in people with high blood pressure. High blood pressure often leads to kidney problems and heart attacks, but scientists have been unable to explain why. Now Javier Diez and his colleagues at the University of Navarra School of Medicine in Pamplona, Spain, have shown that collagen, the most abundant protein in the body, may be to blame. Diez took blood samples from 26 people with untreated hypertension and 23 people with normal blood pressure. The high blood pressure group had abnormally high levels of collagen in their blood and low levels of a chemical that is known to degrade collagen (Circulation, vol 98, p 535). Diez says excessive collagen encases blood vessels and organs,
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