New kidney research from the University of Virginia School of Medicine is raising concerns that long-term use of drugs commonly prescribed to treat high-blood pressure and heart failure could be contributing to kidney damage.
Patients should continue taking the medications, which include the well-known and widely used ACE inhibitors, the researchers say. But the scientists are urging studies to better understand the drugs’ long-term effects.
Our studies show that renin-producing cells are responsible for the damage. We are now focusing on understanding how these cells, which are so important to defend us from drops in blood pressure and maintain our well-being, undergo such transformation and induce kidney damage. What is needed is to identify what substances these cells make that lead to uncontrolled vessel growth.